Saturday, Aug 26 04:17pm
AUTHOR: Matthew Hansen

Lathrope first test in new V8 a success: “Wow is all I've got to say”

In preparation for his step up from Class Two to Class One in the BNT New Zealand Touring Car Championship, 27-year-old Brad Lathrope has completed his first test with his new Ford FG Falcon V8 SuperTourer chassis — doing so at Pukekohe Park earlier today. 


“Wow, is about all I've got to say. Just the power, the torque, the braking, the handling ... everything,” Lathrope said. 


Having campaigned an older-gen TL-spec Ford BA Falcon for several seasons, Lathrope cited the SuperTourer's power and brakes as the two biggest areas of difference to adapt to. 




“It goes a lot faster!” he laughed.


“The biggest thing would be the application of the throttle, and the brakes. It's not 'on it' or 'off it', so to speak, you've just got to sweetly apply the throttle. It's a race to get full throttle, but it's not just putting your foot down.


“The brakes ... I'm braking nowhere near hard enough at the moment. I can tell that because my leg's sore, and I've still got half a day to go. The braking performance of the car and the power to the ground, it's insane.”


More test sessions ahead of the NZTC series opener are likely to come, with the team also still in the process of securing a primary backer ahead of the 2017–’18 series opener.




“After the first session —I went out by myself just to get used to the car — I came to the conclusion that I need at least a couple of full proper test days to properly get up to race pace. I'm taking it very gingerly today; don't want to do anything silly, just get used to the car. 


“But I've definitely got confidence in myself that we will get there, it's just going to be bum in the seat time and a lengthy process as we've got to work with our budget in regards to testing.”


Round one of the six-round series will take place at Pukekohe Park's ITM Auckland SuperSprint, where the series heads the support card for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.