Turua teenagers A.J. (18) and Brad (16) Lauder, have made a very successful transition from the little Suzuki Swift Sport cars to the NZV8’s. They are contesting the Motorsport NZ Gold Star championship Series which culminates at the new Pukekohe circuit on April 12-14 2013 as support class for the Australian V8 Supercars.
“The deal to purchase the TL car’s previously run by Richards Team Motorsport was too good to turn down, especially with their expertise and help included” said grandfather Frank Radisich.
A.J. won the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup last season and the brothers won the teams prize.
There was no expectation of the boys doing more than learn to drive such powerful cars. With only one day of testing at the Taupo track they were doing competitive lap times.
The first meeting was at Teretonga Park, Invercargill. Brad was 4th for the weekend due to fuel pick-up problems that caused a spectacular spin, he kept the lead in the reverse grid race after surviving another spin, while A.J. took the overall class win for the wekeend, leading the Championship after round 1.
At Level’s Raceway, Timaru, A.J. carried on his winning ways to take overall class win for the weekend. Repeating the successful start the lauder boy’s again dominated the class. This time both received trophy’s with Brad in 2nd place (his first ever podium).
Competition is fierce between the brother’s, A.J. has a slightly more teched up car, and feels he should beat Brad, but the youngster is determined to make his mark.
Team Aegis front-runner and Suzuki Swift Sport Cup Championship leader, AJ Lauder, goes into the final round of the series as championship favourite. After a mixed weekend of fortune at the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild, Lauder maintains his lead, albeit by a lesser margin.
After taking pole position for the first race by an impressive 4 tenths of a second, Lauder was in a comfortable position to drive away with the lead. However, he found himself in the uncustomary track position of last after he was shuffled down the pack and then ran wide on the hairpin. Re-joining at the back of the field and showing driving maturity well beyond his years, Lauder carved his way through to finish race one in a creditable fourth
While brother, Brad Lauder, made up a couple of places to finish in sixth, AJ spent the reverse grid race two on the sidelines after breaking a front drive shaft in the warm-up. With the bit between his teeth, AJ leaped off the grid in race three and tousled his way through the field into third, but was classed as finishing fourth after a heavy accident stopped the race three laps early.
In four weeks time, Team Aegis Oil will line up on the grid for the final round of 2012 in Taupo with all eyes on AJ Lauder. At 170 points clear of his closest rival and with 300 points up for grabs, Lauder’s strategy will be to hold it all together and take as many of the double points on offer in race one. Tune in to TV3 and cheer on Team AegisOil making its claim to the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup on Sunday 11th March.
Go Team Aegis Oil !