Sunday, Dec 1 01:39pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

André Heimgartner goes back-to-back in BNT V8s

Supercars ace André Heimgartner has notched up another win in the BNT V8s in Race 2 at Pukekohe Park.


Having claimed the win in Race 1 it was Heimgartner who led the field to the green flag for Hamilton Motorsports. His teammate Lance Hughes couldn’t make the start due to mechanical gremlins with the other Holden Commodore VE.


With Hughes gone from the front row, fourth-place starter Brad Lathrope in his Ford Falcon FG was able to immediately slot into second with a quick start from the second row.


Alexandra Whitley of Australia was quick to put the pressure on Lathrope in the opening laps. Driving the Richards Team Motorsport-run Toyota Camry, Whitley lunged down the inside at Turn 1 on Lap 2 to take second place.


Having missed Race 1, series veteran Nick Ross began from the back of the field. He made the most of the battle between Whitley and Lathrope. However, the pair made contact into Turn 1. Lathrope got loose but managed to save the car, though he did lose some time.


Ross continued his charge in the sole Nissan Altima with a pass on Whitley in the opening laps. Not long after that BNT V8s Open runner Sam Collins got by Whitley as well and was soon putting the pressure on Ross.


At the front, Heimgartner cleared out, but it wasn’t long before Collins got by Ross began to catch the race leader. By half-race distance, Collins had Heimgartner in his sights and snagged the lead.


Series newcomer Brayden Phillips spun on Lap 5 at the hairpin after he locked up the rear wheels. He suffered another spin late in the race and eventually fell to eighth.


Having taken the lead and cleared out, Collins relinquished the lead to Heimgartner and then Ross.


Heimgartner claimed the win with Ross second and Alexandra Whitley third in the ‘top’ class. Collins was third overall and the BNT V8s Open winner. Blair McDonald was fourth overall and second in BNT V8s Open. Whitley was fifth overall ahead of Brad Lathrope. Robert Wallace was seventh and Brayden Phillips eighth.


Justin McIlroy was the first of the BNT V8 Lites and in ninth overall. Eric Hennephof was the last of the top 10 runners and third place in BNT V8s Open.