Whincup/Coulthard deliver verdict on Pukekohe facelift
Four-times V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup stayed on middle ground after being quizzed about his views on the revised Pukekohe circuit.
Whincup claimed the circuit has been made safer with the addition of the street race infrastructure from Hamilton, chiefly the concrete barriers and catch fencing being installed at the South Auckland circuit.
It has essentially converted a permanent road course that was first used in 1963 into a street track.
Whincup said the circuit now has the feel of the same tunnel effect produced a street races.
“It does appear to have a tunnel effect with the walls closer to the track which is good because you don’t want to have an issue going into a wall side on,” Whincup said.
“So they’ve massively increased the safety of the circuit. (But) I wish they could have taken some of the old walls out to clean up the place but that’s another issue.”
Coulthard agreed the Pukekohe circuit is more like a street track however claims it has maintained its character as being a high velocity, entertaining and gutsy racetrack.
“That’s the impression we get (street track). To me the run off we had is no longer there but the walls are closer and that generally means its going to be safer,” Coulthard told Speedcafe.
“The character is still there. You drive along the back straight and the car wonders from left to right following the different shape of the road. It’s definitely kept its character.”
There were unfounded reports that the track surface was breaking up however many of the drivers Speedcafe approached dismissed the claims.
“I haven’t seen it breaking up yet. I think it’s been down long enough to be okay. It’s very grippy but on the other hand it doesn’t feel that grippy because the tyre doesn’t cop it that well. Once more rubber goes down it will be a lot better,” Coulthard said.