Thursday, Sep 28 07:45pm
AUTHOR: Richard Gee

We talk shop with PORTERGROUP V8 Utes racer Glen 'Coyote' Collinson

With new racers coming on board for the 2017–'18 season and more machinery heading from the final Aussie season of V8 utes, Panorama Motorsport's Glen Collinson has his sights firmly set on race wins and the title in his DNA Paints Ford Falcon FG Ute.

This time around the PORTERGROUP V8 Utes championship which will be fought over four rounds within the Speed Works Events Motorsport calendar.

Before the season gets underway in December, velocitynews.co.nz caught up with Collinson to chew the cud and find out a bit more about the 'Coyote'.

Q: Last year you had a bit of an up and down sort of year, with some wins going begging but also getting one on the way. For you, what was the highlight of the season?


Glen: I felt like there were many high points of the season. Like the genuine speed we had from the get go and battling for the podium all weekend at the second round at Taupo.


Photo: Geoff Ridder 


To pick only one is difficult. I'll have a go anyway though and choose the race two win at Ruapuna from the fourth row of the grid in a field of quality drivers!


Really that's mainly because of the disappointment we had already experienced in the first two rounds with gearbox failure then catastrophic diff failure at Taupo, where I led most of the way and was definitely on for a podium until the wheel and driveshaft departed... and yes, I am still gutted! 


Q: That was the low point then?


Glen: No... Even though we had the wheel literally come off with two corners too go at the second round, when we were on for second, second for the round and would have also jumped right up to second in the championship heading to the South Island, the most disappointing thing for me was Invercargill.


We battled all weekend with a wounded car with yet more driveline issues, had absolutely no pace and finished ninth for the weekend.


It was such a long haul and such a great weekend one week prior it was just gutting to see the group we should be running with just disappearing up the road and not having any solutions for our problems and our championship hopes not just taking a dent but vanishing completely!


Q: The car seemed to have days when it was fantastic and days when ti was very difficult, what was the story there?


Glen: Our car has pace and that is a fact, but last seaseon we struggled severely when it rained. It also needs to be driven a certain way in order to achieve that pace and at times that makes it hard to race in the pack but really good when we manage to make a little gap to a following car.


Being honest, our new tyre gain also seems minimal compared to others but that could be either driver or car related.


Q: With new parity measures now in place do you feel like you have a realistic shot at the title this season?


Glen: I honestly felt we had a shot this year despite the level of competition within our category stepping up yet another level. But you always hope that any parity adjustments will improve your car even just a little bit and give you at least the opportunity to win.


There were definite areas where I felt the Ford was very weak this year and it did hurt our results at critical times. We definitely plan to be stronger in all areas this coming season.


Photo: Geoff Ridder


Q: You brought a new sponsor into motorsport this year and impressed everyone with a great looking race car – how has the sponsor side of things been?


Glen: We know they have been extremely happy with the coverage that we achieved throughout the previous race season and there's a message there for all drivers seeking sponsorship.


We went out on a limb to make it look really different to anything else out there and a great showcase for the sponsors prooducts and in all the years of motorsport sponsorship, we have never received a similar amount of media and TV coverage, which has been great for our brand awareness.


Q: You've done a few seasons in V8 Utes now, what do you believe are the strong points and the weak points of the category?


Glen: The strongest part of our category is probably the core group of competitors which have kept it going in tough times. the level of competition and rivalry on the track is fierce, but the comradery is also good.


Our category management has forged many great relationships over the years with our control parts suppliers and category sponsors, love it or hate it, its proven to have been a successful formula.


I know for certain without the help of Category Manger Paul Issac our season would have been over at the end of the second round when the end of the diff parted company with the rest of the housing, damaging a lot of components with only really two working weeks left until Christmas.


Our only weakness really has probably been numbers, but with the new vehicles coming in from Australia and some new faces heading our way, we could really make a jump this coming season.


I think everyone would love to see fields of 19 or 20 utes. And of course, the racing itself is just brilliant nose to tail stuff.


Q: Do you think you have improved as a racing driver being in the V8 Utes?


Glen: Yeah, I think so. I've worked really hard on my driving especially over the last 12 months and had some driver coaching to refine and learn new skills, which will help me moving forward and I do feel my driving has come a long way since I started in the category.


Before racing Utes I had mainly only driven front wheel drive cars which can have their own challenges but tend to make you a bit lazy and require a completely different driving style.


Photos: Geoff Ridder