Hughes breaks through in BNT V8s, question mark for Smith

Lance Hughes heads the field off the first corner

Lance Hughes has won a race in the BNT V8s Championship for the first time while team-mate Jack Smith faces a post-race investigation after turning around title rival Nick Ross.

Hughes led all 16 laps from pole position at Hampton Downs with Smith provisionally classified third, behind fellow Super2 driver Brenton Grove, having made contact which saw Ross spin at the second corner.

The two Hamilton Motorsports Commodores started from the front row and it was Hughes who showed a clean pair of heals in Car #84.

Smith, however, got caught wide in #85 and was passed by Grove into the first corner and Ross on exit.

Ross’ #007 Concept Motorsport Altima would then loop around at Turn 2 after a touch from behind from Smith, who was passed by Rob Wallace and Chelsea Herbert in the aftermath.

Smith got those two positions back within three laps, after a brief dice with Wallace, only to find himself going back behind Herbert and also Tony Anderson, at the end of Lap 5.

He managed to make those spots up again and took the chequered flag in third, a couple of seconds behind the lonely #10 Richards Team Motorsport Camry of Grove, with Hughes another 10.411s up the road.

“I’ve got to hand it to my guys in the team,” said Hughes.

“(Engineer) Luke Dinsdale is just phenomenal with what he does to the car. I’ve been moaning all weekend and he just keeps giving me a wicked car.

“Right the way through the winter when we were prepping the cars, I was saying, we’re going to win this, we’re going to get the championship for Jack. We’ve put a lot of effort into the cars and it’s showing.

“We’ll see how it unfolds tomorrow with Jack.”

Ross finished fourth in class and sixth outright, behind Anderson in an Invitation class Commodore and Paul Radisich in an Invitational class Mustang.

Herbert (#62 Richards Team Motorsport Toyota) ended up seventh outright and Wallace (#51 Rob Wallace Commodore) eighth.

Justin Ashwell took Class Two honours after contact at Turn 2 which saw Matt Podjursky beached.

The final round of the 2018/19 season wraps up tomorrow.

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