Local racer endured horror weekend



Pukekohe driver, Alex Sherie, has encountered a tough initiation into the Toyota TR86 Championship at the ITM 500 event in Pukekohe two weeks ago.

Alex, who studies early childhood education, says the trouble started on the Friday. “The dash read out, which tells us how much fuel is in the car, just before qualifying. So we had to guess how much to dump in.”
As the category has a minimum weight requirement which includes drivers and fuel, the team decided to overcompensate rather than risk disqualification.
But the end result saw the car weighing around 25 kilograms more than the rest of field, which put them in a lowly 16th grid position.
Things went from bad to worse on the Saturday. After making up several positions, Alex found himself in contact with England native and fellow rookie, Tiffany Chittenden, which sent Alex back to 15th by the end of the race.
Sunday looked promising, as the Northland Toyota sponsored car was knocking on the door of an impressive top ten in the morning’s first race. That was until disaster struck on the final lap.
After passing several cars, Alex overcooked the braking zone at turn five, smashing hard into the concrete wall at high speed. The damage ended the weekend and, potentially, the 2015/16 campaign in dramatic fashion for the 19 year old.
“I can tell you that there is a lot more damage than we have thought. Maybe enough to chew all our funds for the season.” Despite the gut wrenching setbacks, Alex remains upbeat and is hungry to repay the faith given to him in his transition from the domestic BMW series. “Where do I go from here? I’m not too sure, however I have faith that something good will come out of this situation. I believe this isn’t a stop, but perhaps a pause.”
Auckland’s, Ash Blewett, recorded a hat-rick of race wins at Pukekohe, and leads the series now heading into the Hampton Downs leg.

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