Friday, Sep 14 07:27pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

High speed crash forces McIntyre and Gilbertson to withdraw

John McIntyre has escaped a high speed crash uninjured at Teretonga Park today after the brakes on his Reiter Engineering-built SaReNi Camaro GT3 failed.


McIntyre and co-driver Simon Gilbertson were set to debut the car in this weekend’s Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance series but have been forced to withdraw.


Only a few months ago the team bought the car and were testing it on Friday before the South Island season opener, but unfortunately the car suffered extensive damage to the rear.


McIntyre crashed during Friday practice at the final corner on the 2.5km seven-turn circuit. Approaching the ‘Elbow’ he narrowly missed two other cars on course, including the ITM MIKE Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Brendon Leitch and Christina Orr-West.


“I braked at the normal place and then I just had no brakes to stop the car with,” McIntyre told after the crash.


“I put it into a spin, missed the Mercedes and luckily missed another car on the exit of the corner, then found the tyre wall.


“It’s at top gear there, so it’s at last 200kph. We’ll have to look at the data obviously, but around there. We don’t know what the impact speed was but it wouldn’t have been much less than a 160kph.


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Despite having it nearby, the pair have decided not to run their spare Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR that they won the three-hour ENEOS North Island Endurance Series title with earlier this year.


“There’s no point winning what you’ve already won,” Gilbertson said.


“We could rattle around there and potentially win GT-B, but why would we do that when we’ve already won it.


“The idea is to move on into an FIA GT3 car and race in that class. We’ll fix this car and get back into it.”


The McIntyre/Gilbertson car wasn’t the only car that suffered extensive damage on Friday. The Anthony Leighs suffered a sizeable crash in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which tore the right front wheel off (pictured above).


The full extent of the damage to the Camaro isn’t yet known, but the team are stripping the car back to see assess it.


Despite a quick turnaround, the hope is they’ll have the car fixed in time for the second round in two weekends time at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch.


“The boys are working as hard as they can at the minute taking bits and pieces off to have a look.


“Clearly from our perspective it’s safety first. That’ll involve a lot of checking. Realistically John and I just don’t know at the moment. We’ll just have to wait and see what the boys tell us.


“We will fix it and we will be back.”


Carter's Tyres South Island Endurance Series calendar:


Round   Circuit Date
1   Teretonga Park, Invercargill 15 September
2   Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch 29 September
3   Levels Raceway, Timaru 13 October


Lead photo: John Cowpland