NZTC
Sunday, Feb 11 11:46am
AUTHOR: Matthew Hansen

Rain cuts BNT V8s scrap short, hands Nick Ross Manfeild win

Fans have been denied a nail-biting battle in the second heat of the BNT V8s by a brief but torrential shower, that resulted in the end of the race being completed under safety car. 

 

Nick Ross took the win. But he was lucky to not have to deal with a fast approaching Jack Smith. The Australian had carved through from fifth to second, and arguably had the pace to contend for the win, but the shower ended green-flag racing before he could get a chance to convert. 

 

Race one winner Ross won the start to lead Heimgartner, Bargwanna, Lance Hughes, Smith, and Brad Lathrope. Lathrope lost his spot soon after via a spin at Higgins, allowing Matt Tubbs and the rest of the grid by. 

 

Heimgartner was threatening on lap one, but looked solid on subsequent laps as the top five checked out from the rest of the field. Smith passed Hughes through Higgins on the second running, but otherwise the five cars were nose to tail. 

 

The group of five soon split into two a few laps later, with Bargs appearing to struggle once again like he had in race one with overheating issues. First he fell away from Heimgartner in second, and then he was done at Higgins and on the back straight by both Smith and Hughes. 

 

Smith was the one to watch. He had tacked on to the back of Heimgartner and Ross by lap five — a lap where he set the fastest lap of the race (a 1:09.307). And by lap seven, he had nipped inside Heimgartner at turn one. Hughes tried to follow him through on the back straight, but despite a healthy inside line overlap, Heimgartner was able to defend on the outside. 

 

The race had set itself up for a classic dice between Smith and Ross in the last four laps, until the heavens opened and dropped copius amounts  of rain onto what had been a dry track. 

 

The rain was torrential, and with the grid on slick tyres officials called a safety car. Though the shower didn't last long, with the safety car so close to the chequered flag the race ended up finishing under yellow. This handed victory to Ross, second to Smith, and third to Heimgartner. 

 

In Class Two, Brock Timperley took his second win of the weekend — leading from start to finish. Chelsea Herbert's weekend of recovery continued with second place, one spot ahead of key championship challenger Liam MacDonald. 

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