Ryan Wood and Madeline Stewart were both back in action this weekend as the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge hit The Bend.
Wood went into the round trailing championship leader Thomas Sargent by just 9 points, the duo have traded 1-2 finishes between themselves every race thus far.
In Race 1 that trend continued, Wood claiming the victory to narrow the gap even further heading into the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race that afternoon.The Kiwi also set a new class lap record at The Bend in his victory.
Madeline Stewart finished the first race in 13th place.
Come the 22-lap enduro, Wood and Sargent resumed their battle, Sargent holding the Kiwi at bay for the first 11 laps through some excellent defence.
A safety car at the race mid-point for a stranded Courtney Prince brought the field back together, only for trouble to strike Wood. A loss of fuel pressure saw him unable to resume proceedings when the lights turned green again, the field swallowing him up immediately after the control line.
Sargent went on to pull away for the victory, his sixth of the 2022 campaign.
Stewart had a change of fortunes in this race, an impressive fifth her second-best result of the 2022 campaign.
A new day beckoned on Sunday, the issues with Wood’s car repaired. He took to the grid in treacherous, wet conditions which saw the field begin behind a safety car. As the conditions worsened, the race was ultimately red flagged. It was henceforth deemed as a ‘No Race’, meaning no championship points were awarded.
It is the second time a ‘No Race’ has occurred in the last two rounds after Race 2 at Sandown was abandoned last time out.
The field now take a few weeks break before returning for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International over November 11-13.
Wood will be relying on a change of fortunes for that event, Race 2’s fuel pressure issues a major implication for his 2022 title aspirations.
In the interim, he will return to New Zealand to compete with Scott O’Donnell in the New Zealand Endurance Championship next weekend.