Experienced V8 Supercar racer John McIntyre has handed his 2014 V8 SuperTourers drive to rising young Kiwi racer Mark Gibson.
The 36-year-old Kiwi revealed the news at his own John McIntyre Racing’s teams launch this week with the decision being taken to aid the development of the up and coming Gibson.
As a result, the 21-year-old rising star from Auckland will campaign the team’s Ford FG Falcon in the seven round V8 Supertourers season which begins at Highlands Park next week.
McIntyre, who has three NZ V8 titles under his belt, has quashed the idea of retirement and he will continue to compete by acting as Gibson’s co-driver for the enduro events.
He will also participate in practice session throughout the season and is again likely to be considered for a V8 Supercars enduro drive in Australia.
“It’s a recipe that works well internationally – where the team is run by championship winning personnel that shapes raw talent in to a professional result,” said McIntyre.
“For the team to win I need to drive it and not the car. That’s where putting the next generation in my place allows me to concentrate on all aspects of the team properly, and ultimately improve our team performance,” says McIntyre.
“It’s a great fit for Mark to spend four rounds surrounded by elite competition in identical specification cars to prepare him for the endurance portion of the season.”
FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy pupil Gibson believes the opportunity will significantly help him on his journey to become a professional V8 Supercar driver.
“Now with the opportunity John has offered for 2014 it provides the perfect stepping-stone to compete at the highest level in New Zealand alongside V8Supercar drivers,” he said.
“Best of all I get the full attention and resources of a driver and team that has won championships.
“I can go to the first round as a rookie, be nervous and know the car and team are 100% – the perfect way to move my career forward.”
The V8 SuperTourer endurance title was won last season by Hamilton’s Ant Pedersen and Australian V8Supercar driver Chaz Mostert, while the overall title winner was V8Supercar stalwart Greg Murphy.