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The car and driver traits that Taupō will expose

SUPERCARS’ first visit to Taupō could reward the drivers that excel at being gentle with their right foot.

Macauley Jones is one of a raft of drivers that have crossed the Tasman Sea to get experience from behind the wheel of the circuit, turning laps last week aboard a Toyota Camry NZ V8.

“It’s a cool joint,” Jones explained on the latest episode of the Brad Jones Racing Run Down podcast.

“It’s definitely a different type of circuit to (Albert Park). I love New Zealand tracks. I did some racing over there in 2013 where we pretty much raced every weekend for five to six weekends in a row.

“The tracks are really cool; they’re quite narrow, there’s not a heap of passing spots, but to drive, they’re really an enjoyable place to go to.”

Tyre life is expected to play a crucial factor in determining the results, something reinforced by Jones’ visit.

“There’s a lot of patches of surface,” he explained.

“They’ve resurfaced a couple of corners over the past couple of years and the corners that they haven’t done, you kind of wish they did because it’s very abrasive.

“It’s old-school Perth, almost, before they resurfaced that, and that had amazing racing because of the tyre deg.

“If you weren’t kind to your tyres at the start of the race, you paid a heavy price – it’s no different at Taupō.

“I think the passing is very limited at that joint, and that’s where I think the tyre deg will be a huge benefit to the category.

“It’s a pretty narrow track and there’s not a whole lot of passing opportunities.”

Another aspect is that the two 200km races at Taupō won’t feature a compulsory fuel drop, which BJR team owner Brad Jones expects to shine a spotlight on the efficiency of each car – and each driver.

“What I think is going to be interesting is – and I know they’ve got locked maps in the engines – the manufacturers will be pushing (I think) to try and make sure that they’ve got the most fuel-efficient cars,” he said.

“(But) from what I understand, there’s a bigger difference between cars within the same team with the same brand, than there is between GM and Ford.”

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