An Exhilarating Start to the Season for Race Lab


Race Lab have been hard at work with an exhilarating start to the 22/23 season.  

The team most recently attending what was Round 2 of the Golden Homes GT New Zealand Championship and Round 3 of the Toyota 86 Championship, held earlier this month during the 3rd – 5th of February at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.  

With the GT’s based out on the skid pad and the 86’s based within the pitlane sheds, the team spent the weekend mastering the art of multitasking, working hard to ensure all drivers and cars were on top form despite the severe levels of humidity and wet weather.  

Day one consisted of driver's briefings and practice rounds for all classes. First up for the team was the Toyota 86’s with Race Lab Academy Driver, Dion Pitt, shortly followed by Race Lab drivers Stephen Harrison and Allan Sargeant within the GT class.  

The inconsistent weather made for a challenging yet exciting drive on the track, gracing teams with unpredictable obstacles that kept drivers on their toes leading into the first races of the weekend.  

You could feel the tension in the air as Saturday continued to test all competing drivers with bouts of drizzle and rising heat for the first races of the weekend. Nevertheless, teams persevered and placed their focus on aspects that were in their control, with the disappointing understanding that there was no promise of a dry track.  

T86 Champion and engineer Pete Vodanovich provided the team with strength and clarity throughout the weekend with the 86’s, consistently analysing data and reviewing footage with Academy Driver, Dion Pitt. The ability to reflect on both the positive aspects and challenges of each drive, allowed the team to put detailed plans in place moving forward and gave Dion the ability to make adjustments where necessary, set clear intentions and have confidence moving into the third day of the weekend.  

Accomplished GT driver Allan Sargeant, and motorsport veteran Stephen Harrison (better known as HarryO) took the trials and tribulations of the track in their stride, turning heads with their need for speed and impressing as their determination gave competing drivers a run for their money. Allan and HarryO inspired fellow team members through the wins and the challenges, maintaining positive attitudes regardless and clarity in their objectives whilst the final day approached.  

Hard work and perseverance paid off for the team, providing a breath of fresh air as the closing day saw the skies clear up and spectators crowding the sidelines of the freshly dried circuit.  

The energy was high as the lights turned green and team members were patiently anticipating from the pits whilst they watched the drivers fearlessly give it their all for the final stretch of the weekend. Spectators were kept on the edge of their seats through every twist and turn as drivers strategically overcame the obstacles and persisted through the escapades leading them to the finish line.  

Team members held their breaths and the crowd roared with excitement as the checkered flags began to fly, waving through the troops while they roared along the final straight one last time for the weekend. Proud smiles visible from space and a sense of relief grew upon the team as each driver completed the circuit, all of which within the top ten of their classes. 

Stoked to be ending on positive note and ready for some well-deserved rest, the team headed home, feeling excited for the next round to be held at Taupo International Motorsport Park in March.

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