For Hans Ruiterman and his loyal crew, the Taupo-based Bruce McLaren Motorsport NZ Superlap round is by far their favourite. The atmosphere Taupo brings is relaxed, and steamy race sessions are closely followed by refreshing dips in one of the circuit’s nearby free-flowing rivers or lakes — made better by a test day on Friday, where Hans was able to scare and excite willing and unwilling souls in a casual environment.
During the test day, however, Hans, Daniel and Zee made some important changes and tweaks to the Silvia, with a new wheel alignment, shock, and sway-bar settings all adjusted in the hope that come race day, the powerful rear-wheel drive would manage through Taupo’s twisty infield.
“The first session on Saturday we ran our test tyres to dial in a base time and get a feel for the suspension changes,” Hans continues, “We knew we were heading in the right direction as we were already as fast as our personal best around the circuit. The second session track temps were too high and grip suffered, so for the third session we put a set of slicks on so we could stay out for the whole session and just cut some laps.”
Standing on the sidelines, blurry-eyed on Sunday morning, we waited for Hans to make his way out onto the cool black-top. Pit talk rumour dictated that the first session come Sunday morning would be where everyone would turn up the boost, in hope of some seriously fast times.
Hans and the Yokohama A050 tyres did not disappoint, managing to cut 0.8-seconds off his previous best time — finishing with a 1:31.76 lap time. “The sessions after this were again too hot and the car developed a slight misfire, so we packed up and went to the river for a swim to cool off before the long trip home,” Hans told us.
“Our highs for the weekend would be bettering our lap time from last season, but not enough to get first overall for the round!”
Unfortunately, Hans won’t be making the third round of the NZ Superlap Series in March but is chomping at the bit to show how well he knows Pukekohe Park Raceway, he tells us, “I think it may be a close one; I don’t have the aero for the fast circuit, but I have plenty of experience racing here which may make up for it and we should hopefully have our new rubber by then. We will have to wait and see!”
We’re excited to see what Hans is capable of with a fresh set of Yokohama A050s, instead of the three-year-old set he has been using for the past few seasons. More from us and Hans then!