Dion Pitt has claimed the second event of the Toyota 86’s at Pukekohe in dramatic fashion this afternoon, coming home to the chequered flag under safety car conditions over Zac Stichbury and Christina Orr-West.
The reverse grid for the top 8 finishers from Race 1 saw 14-year-old rookie Tom Bewley start on pole. A slow start saw him fall back to fourth and Pitt taking the lead over 2019-20 series winner Peter Vodanovich.
This lasted all of one lap, with Vodanovich taking the lead at the chicane on Lap 2, whilst Christina Orr-West had moved up to third.
In the midfield, Race 1 winner Brock Gilchrist was going about working his way towards the front, managing to pick up third by Lap 5, behind only Pitt and Vodanovich.
Gilchrist took second place the following lap and went about putting pressure on for the lead.
The ninth lap was where things went south for the lead three, a drag race down the infamous Pukekohe back straight bringing the then-third-place-sitter Clay Osborne into contention through a magnificent draft from the duo ahead.
Heading three-wide into the chicane saw Osborne knocked into Gilchrist whilst on the inside, in turn shunting him into Vodanovich on the outside. Osborne’s Power and Earth 86 went spinning through the chicane and rejoining at the exit of Turn 6.
The field behind parted ways, all managing to avoid the stopped Osborne, whilst Gilchrist and Vodanovich also sustained damage and were forced to pull off.
All three were forced to retire, meaning then-fourth placed Pitt was promoted to the front ahead of Zac Stichbury and Orr-West.
Stichbury’s second place was impressive after a moment earlier in the race saw him head off through the grass on Turn 2, taking out a polystyrene advertising sign before safely rejoining minus a few places.
Race 1 runner-up Callum Hedge had also gone about quietly making progress and finished the race fourth.
Bewley managed to work his way back to 12th, but was hampered by two seperate incidents following the start, including an off, similar to Stichbury, at Turn 2 and a spin at Turn 4 from contact with Rylan Gray.
Racing for Saturday is now complete, with tomorrow’s only race starting at 12.05.