….”Um, Kat,” was the exact message I sent to Kat Redward of Kat Benson Racing, as I watched her Mitsubishi Evo park itself within the numerous infield curves of Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, during the first session out on Saturday morning. After the long trip to get down to the circuit, and all the hype that goes with it, I was devastated at the smokey sight. I shouldn’t have been though. If it’s one thing I have learned about Kat over the years, its that there’s nothing that can kill her spirit. Problem? Yep — solve it.
“Just like that our rush was over and done like a bungee jump; all the build-up then the realisation it’s over and you’re at the bottom. But, you know the best thing about the Taupo bungee? You can walk back to the top and do it all over again!”
With most of the weekend left, Kat and her dedicated team began scouring the depths of every Mitsubishi parts page on the internet, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for what was diagnosed as a very unhappy diff — holes and all, Kat explains, “the rear pinion let go, smashing the diff to pieces.”
After a four hour drive, Andrew was back with a replacement diff, from a fellow Mitsubishi owner based in Te Puke. After a diff rebuild, some new fluid and re-installation Kat was ready for action yet again, for Sunday morning’s first session. A huge thanks must go to Tony Satherley for the diff contact and fluids.
“We’ve finally set the flat-shifting up,” Kat told us. After being a bit soft on the gear Sunday morning Kat got told by her team to put the hammer down. With an improved and practiced shifting technique, Kat managed to lap an impressive 1:38.2-second lap time, netting her second place in Pro-Street and fourth place overall for the weekend.
“We know the trip down to Taupo well, being a regular on the schedule, it’s always a good couple of days away racing; the journey can get long and repetitive, but well worth it not just for the track, but all Taupo has to offer. The team went down a day early and spent our time swimming in the river by Taupo Bungy.
The following evening, we had dinner with the team at Burger Fuel Taupo on the waterfront and watched the sunset across the lake. Thanks to my team and sponsors, we’re ready to attack Leadfoot Festival hill climb February 2–3.
Live, dream, discover — KBR XO”
We’ll be bringing you the action from the third NZ Superlap series round, held at Manfeild Autocourse, March 24.