With what has been an exciting year for Hans Ruiterman, both on the circuit and off - with the birth of his second child - and a tyre blowout at a Pukekohe Park Raceway club day causing some damage, the NZ Superlap Series has now come to a close and we now have a new Pro-Open 2WD champion. Congratulations team! It hasn’t been smooth sailing, though, with a partial refit and repaint of the Silvia S14.5’s front end, fuses ruining the fun last round, and, the elusive 1:05-second Hampton Downs lap time has yet to be achieved. Nonetheless, Hans is confident the package has the capability to do so.
Following Hans this season has been interesting, as we’ve tried to gain a greater understanding of what makes this simple in appearance S-chassis so fast around New Zealand’s varied circuits. What we’ve concluded is that with a simple combination of the right modifications, an understanding of suspension geometry and the rule book, a gnarly SR22VE/DET (VCT) engine and a serious talent behind the wheel grants Hans the lap times we’ve seen this season. We’re sure there’s more to it, however. We caught up with Hans for a run down of his final round of the season, so over to you, Hans;
It was another full-on few weeks leading up to round five. We removed the front bumper and guards to complete the mods and finishing touches before they were to go to the painters. Once we got them back, we fitted them and got the car straight to the sign-writers on Friday morning and had the car loaded up and at the track on Saturday morning.
When we got to the track the fog was thick. Once our session came up, the fog had mostly cleared and the track and air temp was still nice and cool. This session was going to be the best on our DOT tyres and we pulled out a 1:06.8-second lap time in our very first full lap of the weekend.
During lunch, we got back on the race track to take the Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand charity auction winner out for a couple of hot-lap sessions. We were more than happy to donate our car and time for a good cause. It was also great to socialise with those involved.
In the afternoon session, we had the left-hand inner CV fail causing a vibration, so we put the car back on the trailer and brought it back to the workshop to replace the axle and check the car out and make sure all was ok.
On Sunday, knowing we had already secured our place for the round and the championship, we decided to put the slicks on for the afternoon to allow us to circulate for the full session to see what the car can do. Our best time was on the first lap, with a 1:06.4. The remaining laps I either got caught in traffic or just couldn’t string together the perfect lap.
Unfortunately, we didn’t dip into the 1:05s, but I’m confident the car is capable in its current setup. I’m also looking forward to doing more circuit racing and testing over winter and will have another crack next season!
Hans would like to thank all of his sponsors for their support this season, including; the team at E&H Motors, Gull Sports/Gull NZ, Motul NZ, Pukekohe Auto Spares, Onehunga Panel and Paint, TTi GTO racing gearboxes, Enduro Fit, and Devise.