A dominant Rhys Gould comfortably won the final South Island Endurance Series Class A and B one-hour race at Ruapuna.
Gould started from pole, bolted from the challenging pack, set some eye-opening lap times and sauntered home for his third win on the bounce.
His best lap – a 1.26.240s – was over two seconds better than what anyone else could achieve.
The margin between Gould and second-place Dennis Chapman was a complete lap.
“Got some clean air and just got on with it,” Gould said.
“It was [faultless].
“The car has run real well the last three races. Thoroughly enjoyed it and looking forward to the champs in April.”
Gould had an uncontested run to the first turn when Steven Kelly failed to make it to the grid.
Kelly was supposed to start alongside Gould on the front row, but a suspected broken driveshaft leading up to the race ruled him out of contention.
Kelly wasn’t the only big name to run into drama.
Debbie Chapman retired following early contact with Mike Hall.
Scott O’Donnell was dealt a drive-through penalty for passing under yellow flags.
“[The penalty] wasn’t part of the plan,” he said. “It’s ironic when you get a drive-through for a yellow you don’t even seen and you pass your own son.”
The penalty dropped O’Donnell from second to third, and a sluggish pitstop hindered his recovery drive.
Still, O’Donnell finished third in the race, and in doing so, created a championship predicament.
Dennis Chapman and O’Donnell are now tied at the head of the point standings after four rounds.
Who wins the title will be determined later today as race officials go through past results and settle a countback.
UPDATE: Dennis Chapman awarded the series title. He ended the season with one more second place finish than O’Donnell.
Marcus Barnett and Hall rounded out the top-five runners.
Main Image: Terry Marshall