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TKR Win Taupo NZ Touring Car Finale
Team Kiwi Racing have claimed a solid victory in the Taupo NZ Touring Car Finale of round one of the 2015–’16 NZ Touring Cars season, leading home second place by over 12 seconds reinforcing TKR is back and a serious contender for the 2015/16 Championship title.
Full report below:
Making their first ever standing starts, most spectators for the third and final race of the NZ Touring Car Championship at Taupo Motorsport Park focused their eyes on the NZ SuperTourer competitors scattered throughout the field.
But any worries were dropped as the green flag waved, with the SuperTourers firing away from the grid. From the second row of the grid, Craig Baird in the TKR All Black machine shot to the lead by first corner.
A poor start from Lance Hughes off the front row resulted in impressive youngster Bryce Fullwood taking second place into turn one, with a rapid-starting Angus Fogg taking third with Gene Rollinson shadowing him.
As the only car in the field on a full set of four brand new Dunlop tyres, the TKR car looked racy and was going to be difficult to beat. By lap six, Baird had opened his lead in the TKR car to over 5 seconds to the next driver.
By lap ten, Baird was still well out in front all by himself in the TKR machine, seven seconds ahead of Fogg. The Property Tutors Commodore pilot's hands were full with the Gene Rollinson, though the latter would extract himself from the battle by pitting on lap 10.
Baird would peel out of the lead and into pit lane on lap 12, temporarily surrendering the lead to Fogg and rejoining the race in third place, almost 10 seconds ahead of Evans. With both Fogg and Tim Edgell taking their pit stops on lap 14, the field had corrected itself — Baird taking back the lead of the race by a significant 11 seconds.
With TKR well out in front the battle for second position turned on its head as Edgell and Fogg aimed to leave pit lane. Contact between the pair resulted in Edgell spinning in pit lane and both cars losing time.
The incident cemented Smeg Racing and Evans' hold on second position. Fogg looked likely to make a move on Evans for second position, as the race wound down, but the spinning Ford Falcon of Simon Flemming appeared to end those chances.
However, an incident for Evans with two laps remaining saw the Smeg driver drop nine seconds on a single lap, and subsequently fall to fifth place in the order. The off saw Fogg snatch second, Fullwood vault back onto the podium, and Jason Bargwanna in the leading Toyota Camry TLX take fourth — with Evans rejoining underneath the race one victor's rear wing.
However, Evans wouldn't be able to take back the position — the top five crossing the line in an unchanged order; Baird claiming victory in the TKR All Black machine with an impressive 12-second margin over Angus Fogg, with Bryce Fullwood claiming his second podium finish on debut in third.
Bargwanna, Evans, Rollinson, Cunningham, and Edgell rounded out the provisional top eight.
After a race-long battle for honours in class two between Kevin Williams and Brock Cooley, it was Cooley and the Speedy Signs Falcon TL which would prevail — taking the win by a tenth of a second after a thrilling duel. Brad Lathrope rounded out the podium in the MWN Civil Ford Falcon.
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes
Nice, those cars look mean as :)
Good read, sorta felt I was there
Pretty simple livery but looks badass ive always been a fan of a black matte finish
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