Despite a spree of mechanical issues across the 2020 endurance season, Jaden Ransley insists the time spent in the Hyundai i30 TCR will prove valuable as he looks to make the transition to the Australia TCR series.
Ransley and co-driver Rhys Gould scraped themselves onto the grid for Saturday’s New Zealand Endurance Championship.
The pair failed to reach the chequered flag in any of the three South Island Series races as engine gremlins scuppered each effort and put their attempt to qualify for the national title in limbo.
Firstly, the engine dropped a cylinder in the season-opener at Teretonga before cooling troubles forced an early retirement in the second event at Ruapuna.
Fortunately, despite not even turning a lap in the final race of the season in Timaru, the pair still had enough points to qualify for the national championship race.
Eager to reach the finish, the pair found themselves leading Class B by over half-a-minute after steering clear of the on-track incidents which proved to be costly for most of their rivals, including their team mates Gene rollinson and Craig Innes, who were shunted into a spin at turn one by an over eager Haddon Paddon.
But yet another engine related issue saw a certain victory slip through their clasped hands, capping off a turbulent season for the team.
Ransley, however, says the season was not a total disaster.
“For sure it was a frustrating season and especially to be leading the NZ Endurance Championship by thirty seconds for it all to be blown by a cracked exhaust manifold flange,” said Ransley. “That was really tough.
“And although we didn’t get the results we wanted this year, I am still happy with the pace we have shown at many points throughout the season.
“I learnt a huge amount about the Hyundai TCR Car in an awesome environment with the Signature Homes Racing crew and I can’t thank Rhys enough for the opportunity to join this team.
“I’ve learnt a huge amount about the car and about endurance racing.”
The aim for Ransley is still to land a drive in the TCR Australia championship, even if Covid-19 restrictions means he must relocate himself across the ditch.
“Ideally the plan still is to be on the grid for the first round of TCR Australia in January.
“But with Covid-19 restrictions still in place, it is making it all very tough.
“Still, fingers crossed we can sort something out to be on the grid for 2021.”
Ransley has been in discussion with several TCR Australia teams for a drive and will hopefully have a clearer picture of his future before the end of the year.
An eight-round 2021 TCR Australia series gets underway at Symmons Plains Raceway over January 24-26.