Kiwi talent Ryan Wood has won the first of three races in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge at The Bend this afternoon, holding off a spirited challenge from closest rival Thomas Sargent.
After qualifying for pole, Wood kept out of trouble to resume battle with championship-leader Sargent, as has been the trend all season. It was the Kiwi who got the better of the Australian this time, the gap after the 8 lap sprint just 1.6 seconds.
In his victory, Wood also set a new lap record at The Bend, 1min 52.0940sec the new benchmark.
The pedigree of the duo over the rest of the field was evident through the third-placed Lachlan Bloxsom finishing nearly six seconds up the road.
Fellow Kiwi, Madeline Stewart, finished in 13th.
The race was the first of three this weekend, the 22-lap Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race to follow at 4.10pm. Race 3 will take place at 1.40pm tomorrow, and is also 8 laps.