Corliss race Engineering is expecting significant results from their Howe Mustangs ahead of the final round of the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series at Pukekohe this Saturday.
The Hampton Downs-based squad burst onto the scene in the opening round at their home circuit, debuting a pair of all-new Ford Performance Racing Mustangs.
Recruited for the opener was Kiwi GT ace Jono Lester and former Mazda Pro 7 champion Matt Gibson.
The two qualified strongly, sharing the fifth row. But sensor gremlins late into the race quelled their efforts and forced one to retire.
Between rounds, however, the team has been hard at work to rectify their round one woes and they are expecting another weekend where they punch above their weight.
“We have made a few tweaks for Pukekohe which should hopefully give us the legs we need,” Jono Corliss told Velocity News.
“These should give us some more top speed and slightly more horsepower than what we had at Hampton Downs.
“We have also changed the final drive ratio to accommodate for the long back straight.
“But we are really looking forward to the round.
“We have been busy preparing the cars as well as internally within the team to tidy up the items we can.
“These should all give us the best opportunity come to Puke where we are aiming for a top-five result.”
Alongside technical and mechanical changes between rounds, Corliss said there had been plenty of work done within the team as he looks to build a winning team culture.
“We have had zoom meetings as a team in the lead up to the race,” he said.
“We are all ring-ins, just a team of passionate volunteers. But we are also serious about our work. So, I really treasure our guys.
“I also think the awards dinner that NIERDC are putting on after the race for the teams is awesome and is definitely needed. Bring people together is what this series is all about.
“Any new race car is often always going to take time to learn and evolve into a race-winning machine.”
Corliss says the team still has more potential to unlock moving forward.
“Jono [Lester] has been great, and he and Matt have been learning the car together.
“Our first race at Hamptons we set our fastest lap 45 minutes into the hour. It just shows the car and us as a team are unlocking more speed with every session in the seat.”
Main Image: Tayler Burke – supplied by CRE