Shane van Gisbergen has added another victory to his New Zealand Grand Prix weekend, winning race two of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs.
From pole, van Gisbergen led every one of the 20 laps, with the rain that had impacted the morning’s qualifying making way for a dry track.
Chris van der Drift once again followed the Supercars regular across the line in second, pressuring the race winner on several occasions but couldn’t execute an overtake.
The race would end behind the safety car following a clash between Andre Heimgartner and Brendon Leitch in a duel for third. That allowed Matthew Payne to score his second podium of the season.
Once again, Leitch got the best start of the front runners, moving from fifth to third.
Up front, it was van Gisbergen leading van der Drift while Payne slotted into fourth.
The weekend’s first safety car was deployed on lap 8 when Tom Alexander buried himself in the gravel on the exit of Turn 7.
Once the incident was clear, and the race went green, van der Drift stayed in the race leader’s wake.
Getting the run on van Gisbergen into Turn 2, van der Drift was placed on the outside line and squeezed wide. Van Gisbergen maintained the lead while van der Drift was left to fend off Leitch.
As he did in race one, Payne bided his time behind Leitch before going on the assault.
A wild off on the exit of the final corner for Payne while running side-by-side with Leitch then opened the door for an opportunistic Heimgartner to get his nose into the action.
Heimgartner would then come to blows with Leitch, ripping away his front left wheel. The Dayle ITM racer then retired shortly thereafter, succumbing to damage received during the collision.
That gifted Payne a certain third place, while race control called the safety car into play for the second time.
Kaleb Ngatoa came home in fourth, while Damon Leitch rounded out the top-five.
Conrad Clark was sixth, with Peter Vodanovich and Joshua Bethune capitalising on others’ misfortunes to claim a top-ten result.
Rookie Billy Frazer had a troubled start, falling from sixth to eighth. He then ran wide on the exit of the final sweeper on the safety car restart, tumbling to dead last.
But a move on Chris Vlok and some fortune retirements up front meant that Frazer could salvage a ninth-place result. Vlok was the last of the runners in tenth.
Greg Murphy was the race’s first retirement, making light contact with Heimgartner on the start and damaging the front wing.
Ken Smith and Daniel Gaunt were the other two names not to reach the chequered flag.
The weekend’s final TRS race will be the 66th New Zealand Grand Prix, with the race start scheduled at 5.20 pm.
|Shane van Gisbrgen
|Chris van der Drift