TCR
Friday, Oct 4 05:35pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Broken collarbone no barrier for Jordan Michels

A broken collarbone couldn’t stop Jordan Michels battling through to take a class win in the opening round of the Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance Series.

 

Michels debuted the Team Williams Racing-owned Honda Civic Type R TCR (FK7) in the one-hour race at Teretonga Park and went on to claim seventh overall and Class B victory by two laps.

 

The Southlander was stoked with the result, especially considering the car had never been driven in New Zealand until the first round of the endurance series. 

 

“The car hasn’t been in the country for long, we rolled it out of the container and raced it,” Michels told velocitynews.co.nz.

 

“There’s still a bit of performance to be found. I guess it just proves how reliable the platform it, to be able to ship it from the other side of the world and it not be raced for three months, then go racing is pretty incredible.”

 

Michels battled some gremlins like a broken mount in the front bumper. Had it not been for a slow pit stop and the mechanical drama he believes an overall top five could have come their way. 

 

As well as that, a broken collarbone meant Michels didn’t get out of the car for the mandatory pit stop, which led to a longer stationary pit stop time.

 

“The car is awesome to navigate traffic, they’re the best car in the world effectively,” Michels said of the one-hour race. 

 

“They corner speed is so high and the braking zone is so late, you navigate the slower cars without any drama. It just needs a bit more horsepower to keep up with the Porsches,” he laughed. 

 

“There’s still a little bit left in me. Physically, the collarbone is still broken, so I had a bit of padding. We didn’t do a lot with setup either. There’s still plenty to learn and a lot left in the car.”

 

Next year TCR New Zealand will hold Round 2 of the championship at Teretonga Park. Michels is expected to be part of the field in the five-round series. 

 

Michels said driving the TCR car around his home circuit was something special.

 

“It’s really cool. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Obviously, it’s a horsepower track. All the different brands [of TCR car] have different strengths. The Honda hasn’t got the highest straight-line speed, but it’s so fast in the corners. 

 

“From the exit of the Southern Loop to the hairpin, it is probably the fastest car on the track. I was able to hang onto the Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars in Friday practice, and then you get to the straight and everything goes flying past you.

 

“It definitely suits the circuit, but it will be interesting when the actual championship starts just to see what prevails there.”

 

Three rounds remain in the South Island Endurance Series. This weekend the one-hour and three-hour competitors head to Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell where Michels expects his car to be fast. 

 

“I think it’ll be interesting, I’ve never there so it’ll be good experience for next year’s championship. The car should go alright.”

 

Photo: Daniel Kalisz

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