Golf next challenge for Otago duo

By Catherine Pattison on Sat, 17 Feb 2018 | Latest News
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Otago duo Barry Moore and Tim Mackersy will endurance race this recently-imported VW Golf GTI TCR this season. PHOTO: ANDREW RAE

Queenstown's Barry Moore hasn't been able to fully explore the potential of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR he will drive with team-mate Tim Mackersy this year.

Truth is, the throaty notes produced by its 243kW (330hp) engine are too loud for Highlands Motorsport Park's noise restrictions. Moore took the car, which is owned by Mackersy's father Ron, there recently and was only able to potter around at a sedate pace.

‘‘She's pretty loud. We are excited about it. Even just doing one lap slowly, you can tell it's a pretty serious machine,'' Moore said.

The decibels the VW produces are acceptable for racing at national events and Moore is looking forward to a test run at Invercargill's Teretonga Park ahead of the New Zealand Endurance Series at Pukekohe on March 24.

Built on the TCR chassis 002 from Volkswagen Motorsport and previously run by Germany's Engstler Motorsport in TCR-Asia, it already has two championship titles under its belt.

In October last year, Moore witnessed the second victory when he went to Zhejiang, China, to watch a round of the TCR-Asia series. He and Ron Mackersy completed a deal to buy Chassis #002 from Engstler and the car ended that weekend as the TCR-Asia Champion with Thai driver Kantadhee Kusiri at the wheel.

After making its New Zealand debut next month at Pukekohe, the VW TCR will compete in the three-round South Island Endurance Series, which begins in September.

Moore said the TCR category cars, which represent affordable factory-built race cars, are reasonable in terms of operating expenses. They offer plenty of bang for buck and have been proving themselves as faster than more expensive GT4 machinery in endurance racing circles, ‘‘with TCR Golfs beating GT4-spec cars in the recent Dubai 24-hour race and also last year in the Nurburgring 24-hour race.''

Moore and Dunedin-based Tim Mackersy not only share a competitive streak that has fuelled their increasingly successful pairing over the years but they conveniently fit the same race seat. With the team refuelling and changing tyres in about 50 seconds, it is an advantage that there are no driving position or seatbelt adjustments needed when the drivers swap.