Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing Series action heads for Timaru

Simon Baker of Wellington leads the points as the Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing Series prepares for the second round of their national championship at Levels Raceway on the outskirts of Timaru this weekend. The event is also Round 3 of the series’ South Island Championship.

Baker will arrive at Levels with a 29-point lead after a pulsating weekend of action at the first round in Christchurch last weekend where he won two of the three races. One of those victories initially looked to be in jeopardy after he received a 10s penalty. However, after an appeal, he was reinstated to the top step of the podium.

Racing was very willing last weekend and Timaru motorsport fans are in for a treat as the class prepares to contest three more races around the tighter, 2.4km, confines of Levels.

Aucklander Leo Bult was the other race winner at Round 1. He sped to victory in the opening race, smashing the lap record in the process, but his weekend turned sour after that with a non-finish in the second race of the round before he failed to start in the finale. Early favourite Shane Paget of Rangiora secured the Premier Insulation Pole Award for qualifying fastest but plucked the wrong gear at the start of the first race and then in the final race crashed at the hairpin. With some great support from the local motorsport community Paget should be back on the grid this weekend.

Many competitors fell foul of officialdom under safety car conditions in the second race of the round attracting penalties so there are many looking to make up lost ground at Levels this weekend.

In the South Island Championship, of which last weekend was Round 2, Baker’s points haul has propelled him to sixth in that points table. A solid round by Chris White Jnr of Prebbleton sees him lead after two rounds ahead of Matt Dodd of Christchurch and Dalan Price of Rangiora. Shane Paget, the early South Island Championship leader, has dropped to fourth after last weekend’s issues.

Competitors will contest three races this weekend, the first on Saturday afternoon over 8 laps before a 10-lap reverse top ten grid race on Sunday morning and then an eight-lap finale on Sunday afternoon.

New Zealand Championship Points (after Round 1):
1: Simon Baker (Wellington) 128
2: Chris White Jnr (Prebbleton) 99
3: Flynn Mullany (Auckland) 93
4: Dalan Price (Rangiora) 92
5: Warren Crowther (Auckland) 87
6: Matt Dodd (Christchurch) 86
7: Elton Wichman (Auckland) 83
8: Sam Dashfield (Auckland) 81
9: Phil Clemas (Auckland) 72
10=: Steven Spear (Auckland)/Shane Paget (Rangiora) 71
12: Steve Brown (Auckland) 67
13: Matt Horne (Masterton) 61
14: Anthony Tork (Auckland) 57
15: Leo Bult (Auckland) 44
16: Alex Canty (Auckland) 43
17: Karl Gaines (Auckland) 28
HISTORIC
1: Ken Thompson (Dunedin)

SOUTH ISLAND CHAMPIONSHIP (Top 6 After 2 Rounds)
1: Chris White Jnr (Prebbleton) 205
2: Matt Dodd (Christchurch) 194
3: Dalan Price (Rangiora) 193
4: Shane Paget (Rangiora) 189
5: Matt Horne (Masterton) 175
6: Simon Baker (Wellington) 128

Lindsay Beer