Leo Bult of Auckland drew first blood in the opening race of the first round of the New Zealand Championship for the Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing Series at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna in Christchurch today.
Bult had qualified second fastest, just .281 of a second behind Shane Paget of Rangiora, who snared the Premier Insulation $500 Pole Award with a lap of 1 minute 37.240 seconds during qualifying.
Bult made the best start however, to lead from lights to flag in the 8-lap race, smashing Ben Stewarts old lap record by almost a second in the process, while Simon Baker of Wellington came through from third place on the grid to grab second. Paget rebounded from missing a gear at the start which cost him several places to come back to third place.
Chris White Jnr of Prebbleton finished fourth with Aucklanders Flynn Mullany and Warren Crowther fifth and sixth respectively.
Conditions were cooler today after many cars had struggled with grip in hot conditions during Friday testing and the series competitors put on a great show of racing with some brilliant battles right throughout the field with minimal damage.
Tomorrow (Sunday) features two further races for the class, the first over 10 laps from a reverse top ten grid with an 8-lap race with grid positions based on weekend points later in the day.
On behalf of the Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series
021 351 499
For further information – Lindsay Dodd – 0274 383 997
Photograph: Premier Insulation Pole Award winner, Shane Paget of Rangiora and his team, after qualifying for the first race of the opening national championship round of the Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna in Christchurch – please credit Steven Spear.