Madeline Stewart has shrugged off a difficult Race 1 to move towards the right end of the field in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, finishing fifth in the 22-lap event at The Bend.
The top five was the second of the 22-year-old’s season, previously finishing as high as fourth in Race 1 at Queensland Raceway.
In contrast, Race 1 winner Ryan Wood was forced to the rear of the field with fuel pressure issues which came about in a Safety Car period mid-race.
Wood had been battling Thomas Sargent throughout early proceedings, the duo locked in an enthralling battle over the first 11 laps, the Australian running with the lead.
This changed when a stranded Courtney Prince brought out a safety car. Sargent got proceedings back underway, however Wood was not able to go with him. Lachlan Bloxsom, who was running third, suffered as a result of the Kiwi’s misfortune, unable to pass Wood before the control line. The field, including Stewart, swamped him, sending him back to fifth.
Sargent pulled away from here to take honours ahead of Aron Shields, Bloxsom fighting his way back to third.
With one more race to go this weekend, Wood will be hoping to bounce back strongly should he wish to remain in contention with Sargent. The two still hold a commanding gap over the rest of the field.
Race 3 begins at 1.40pm tomorrow and will cover 8 laps.