Smeg Racing Duo Take out Race 1 at Pukekohe

Press Release – BNT V8 SuperTourers

Smeg Racing Duo Take out Race 1 at Pukekohe

Richard Moore in his Mike Pero Holden, battled Tim Edgell hard for second place.

Shane Van Gisbergen and Simon Evans have one hand on the trophy for the BNT NZ SuperTourers endurance series after another commanding victory at Pukekohe today.

V8 Supercars star Van Gisbergen started from pole and streaked away from the field. When Aucklander Evans took over the Holden he had a solid lead and maintained it to the end to win the first of three races at the Fuchs 500 meeting.

“I pushed pretty hard but at the same time was able to look after the tyres,” Van Gisbergen said. It takes a top-level driver to be able to judge that fine line between outright speed and conserving the tyres.

“We needed to build a gap so that we’d be safe during the driver change,” he added. “Simon drove well too. The car was pretty good right from the start, which made it easier. We didn’t get much running in practice this morning because of the weather.”

Showers in the morning caused changing track conditions, which made life difficult for the drivers, but the race was run in fine weather.

Van Gisbergen and Evans already had a big points lead in the endurance series, having won four of the six earlier races, and only a disaster tomorrow will stop them from winning the silverware.

Tim Edgell and Steve Owen just held on to second, fending off a late challenge from another Aucklander-Australian combination, Richard Moore and Tim Slade. Both teams were driving Holdens.

“I tried to pass him on the inside at the hairpin on the last lap but he blocked me and we touched,” Moore said. “Oh well, I would probably have done the same in his situation.

“I came out in third after the driver change and I could see Tim in the distance so I pushed really hard. We were disappointed we qualified only seventh but this car seems to get better as the race goes on.”

Owen, who had driven the first stint in Edgell’s car, said he enjoyed the Kiwi car, especially because the durable Hankook tyres allowed him to go hard the whole race rather than having to slow down to look after the tyres as he does in Australia.

“We just need to find another couple of tenths of a second so we can take it to Shane and Simon tomorrow,” Owen said.

Aucklander Dominic Storey achieved one of his best results with a strong fourth, sharing his Holden with Supercar driver Nick Percat, and next came Angus Fogg (Auckland)-Tony D’Alberto (Australia) and Greg Murphy (Havelock North)-Jack Perkins (Australia), all in Holdens.

In the first part of the race Murphy was in the group battling for second but he locked a wheel – causing a big cloud of smoke – braking before the new section of the track and flat-spotted one tyre so badly his crew had to change that wheel during the pit stop for the driver change. That loss of time dropped him back in the field.

Today’s race was 35 laps but both of the races tomorrow will be twice as long. Moore said he was looking forward to these races because his car was very good over long distances.
Those races will conclude the three-round endurance series, run within the Hankook Super Series.

The overall championship concludes with four sprint meetings in the early part of 2015.

ENDS

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