Greg Murphy maintained his winning ways in the opening race of the BNT V8 SuperTourer round at Manfeild.
After taking a clean sweep of the three races in the first round at Highlands Motorsport Park last month, Murphy came from behind to win in a cracking start to the defence of the Championship he won last year.
Starting The Sound 250 from sixth, Murphy sliced his way toward the front after an incident at the first corner when poleman Ant Pedersen and Tim Edgell speared off the circuit.
After looking good in front, Simon Evans settled for an unlucky second ahead of Murphy’s M3 Racing team-mate Richard Moore.
Young Andre Heimgartner was fourth, continuing his best start to the championship after finishing second in the opening round.
Murphy was expected to waste no time in pouncing on Evans for the lead however the elder brother of GP2 flyer Mitch Evans fought on strongly.
An electrical problem which cut engine power when he changed gears eventually led to Evans’ undoing.
“That was a great job by Simon. If he hadn’t had that issue I don’t think I could have passed him,” Murphy said.
“I’m almost sorry I won – he’s had such shocking luck and he deserves a win.”
Pedersen recovered after the early off and powered through to fifth by the end of the race.
Although frustrated by his early mistake, he was pleased with the speed shown in qualifying and the rest of the race.
Christchurch driver Eddie Bell ran his Falcon in fifth place for much of the race before Pedersen came past, eventually finishing sixth.
Bell was forced to borrow an engine for the Falcon after his powerplant blew up in qualifying.
The SuperTourers continue tomorrow with a further two races.
Meanwhile Jason Bargwanna led the NZV8 Touring Cars race all the way in his Toyota Camry, taking more points from Nick Ross’s championship lead.
Ross, from Cambridge, was passed by Hamilton’s Lance Hughes early in the race, but later recovered that place with a neat overtaking move on his fellow Holden campaigner.
Bargwanna’s team-mate AJ Lauder is out of the meeting after damaging his Camry in a testing crash.
Leading rally driver Glenn Inkster from Auckland won the TL category for the older V8s in his Ford Falcon, heading off series leader James McLaughlin (Lower Hutt, Holden) and Lauder’s brother Brad (Turua, Ford).
Aucklander Andrew Waite won the Toyota TR 86 race comfortably from Wellington’s Jamie McNee, but McNee increased his lead in the championship.
Waite is not expecting to contest any more rounds of this new series.