Connor Adam and Billy Frazer have clung on by the skin of their teeth to clinch victory in the final Best Bars Toyota 86 endurance race of the weekend at Hampton Downs.
Frazer claimed the chequered flag a mere 1.6s in front of a hard-chasing Rowan Shepherd.
Time was the enemy for the Dayle ITM entry as Shepherd slashed a mammoth eight-second advantage to under three-seconds with five-minutes remaining.
The Hampton Downs circuit was always getting faster throughout the shortened 50-minute race following a steady rain shower in the race’s build-up. An international TCR ace, Shepherd was one of several drivers able to exploit the drying line to pursue after the leaders.
Initially, Adam and Frazer looked to have the race under control. The former accomplished a bold move around the outside of erstwhile leader Christina Orr-West in the opening few tours.
Once in front, the series veteran was able to establish a healthy margin before making his compulsory pitstop on the 35-minute marker.
Orr-West had opted to stop two laps earlier, but a slow driver change put Shepherd on the back foot and the pair relinquished second to Peter Vodanovich and Mark Mallard.
The positional switch was only brief, however, as Shepherd swiftly managed to get back in front of Mallard.
The Crème Insurance team were then hindered by a flailing window net drama which meant they had to cycle the lane for a second time.
Promoted to third were series newcomers Simon Evans and Marco Giltrap. The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy champion was directly behind the wheel after a solid opening stint by Giltrap, and the No.84 machine was rapidly hunting down the race leaders.
Similar pace was suggested by Shepherd and race one winner Daniel Gaunt in fourth, all of whom were closing the gap to Frazer.
However, in only his second-ever tin-top race, Frazer resisted the lurking pressure from behind to safely secure a maiden race win in the 86 series.
Adam, who has four seasons of experience in the one-make series under his belt, now enjoys a provisional lead of the championship ahead of the final two races at Pukekohe Park in December.
Evans and Giltrap rounded off the rostrum, concluding a strong outing for the rookies of the field.
After their race one heroics, Gaunt and Bryant had a muted day at the office to finish fourth.
Brad Jesson and Alexander Whitely benefitted from Mallard’s mishaps to claim fifth, with the Crème Insurance entry a lap down in sixth.
Main Image: Tayler Burke