Edgell wins as titles tighten at Manfield
Tim Edgell has taken his first ever round victory in the BNT V8s Championship at Manfield.
The Chesters Falcon driver finished second , first and eighth across the three races to win Round 5 from Kayne Scott (Fujitsu Falcon) and Andy Booth (Rock FM Commodore).
Scott and John McIntyre (Nelson-Amcor Falcon) also took race wins from the weekend, while Craig Baird (United Video Falcon) closed in on Angus Fogg’s (LG Falcon) points lead.
Having been involved in a heavy Race 3 accident last time out at Timaru, Fogg was again out of luck at Manfield. The LG Falcon was launched sideways and into the outside tyre wall after contact with Martin Short (Zoagn Falcon) and Eddie Bell (Independent Fisheries Falcon) during Race 1’s rolling start.
Third in the championship heading into the weekend, McIntyre was unable to take advantage of Fogg’s eventual 14th place finish however. The 33-year-old suffered a spectacular rear suspension collapse while running third with just two laps remaining, bringing out the red flag.
The stoppage left Scott with the race win from Edgell, Baird, Booth and Wade Henshaw (Ezibuy Falcon), who impressed in just his second appearance of the season.
Fogg and McIntyre made amends in Race 2, charging from the back of the grid to finish seventh and 10th respectively.
Edgell took his second-ever race win after seeing off the determined Scott, while Henshaw took third from Knight, Baird and Scott McLaughlin (Supercheap Commodore).
Remarkably, the full-reverse grid Race 3 was the most tame affair of the day, with McIntyre winning comfortably from the front row.
Paul Manuell (Orix Commodore) was second, from Fogg, Hayden MacKenzie (Falcon), Short and Booth.
McLaughlin retired from Race 3 with an engine failure, while Scott limped home ninth trailing smoke.
A race winner last time out at Timaru, Australian Jason Bargwanna did not compete at Manfield due to a clashing commitment in the International V8 Supercars Championship with Brad Jones Racing.
In Manfield’s penultimate round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Craig Baird scored two wins and a fourth to take the overall victory.
The defending champion suffered a scare in the reverse grid Race 3 when he detected a deflating tyre, but nursed the car home to move into championship contention.
Baird remains third in the points race, now just 38 behind leader Daniel Gaunt.
Gaunt had his margin over Jonny Reid slashed from 95 to just 25 points after a disastrous run.
Starting the weekend with a five place grid penalty for causing a Race 3 shunt at Timaru, a four-car pileup involving Ant Pedersen, Scott Harrison and Shane McKillen saw Gaunt chalk up a DNF in Race 1.
With his own car suffering heavy damage, Gaunt jumped into team boss McKillen’s mount to finish fifth in Race 2, before taking out the reverse grid Race 3.
Reid took two seconds and a third to be second overall for the weekend ahead of Mitch Cunningham.
The final round of the GT3 Cup Challenge will be held in conjunction with the penultimate round of the BNT V8s Championship at Taupo Motorsport Park on March 12-13.