Glenn Smith and John De Veth marched to a comprehensive victory in the North Island Endurance one-hour race at Hampton Downs.
After he romped to pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, Smith resisted an early attack by John Midgley through the opening sequence of corners.
Then, once Smith cemented himself as the race leader, there was no coming back from the rest of the field.
De Veth took control of the McLaren midway through the race, and he crossed the line 49s ahead of Anthony Leighs in second.
“We had a pretty smooth run,” Smith said.
“We were quite lucky in those first few laps to get a gap, and then we just had to maintain it.
“We had too high tyre pressures in the rear and I could feel them going off. But, other than that, it was mint.”
Leighs spent most of the race tussling with Midgley for the final two podium places.
Midgley’s Ford SuperTourer was electric on the opening lap and even looked to have executed a bold overtake around the outside of Smith at turn one.
But as the race unfolded and Midgley began encountering lap traffic, Leighs closed the margin, and he snatched away second with a move at turn eight.
“Third was the best we could do today,” Midgley said.
“Unfortunately, we lost the brakes early on with just too much blocking and a pretty tired set of rotors and pads.
“So, I had the pace early on but just couldn’t sustain it.”
Fourth looked set to go to Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes until he came to a halt at turn ten.
The Porsche re-fired and drove straight into a pitlane where a frustrated Fitzgerald-Symes retired with ten minutes remaining.
Thus, Kris Bostock claimed fourth in his 991 GT3 Cup car.
Gene Rollinson was fifth in the Racer Products Hyundai i30 N TCR, ahead of Sean Kirkpatrick and James Webb.
Sprinkles of rain greased the circuit in the final few minutes, and while it didn’t interrupt the one-hour, it seems that this afternoon’s three-hour will be on a wet track.
Main Image: Matt Smith
|6||Kirkpatrick / Webb||1 Lap|