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April 29, 9.30pm Motorsport Round-up


Gaunt eyes drive in USA

April 29, 2007, 9.30pm. Toyota Racing Series champion Daniel Gaunt is negotiating hard to secure a racing drive in America with a well-known proven team.

“That’s where I want to be,” the newly-crowned champion said this weekend.

“But the cost of obtaining a drive with a top team is very high. With the help of several people, I’m negotiating to obtain a drive, but obtaining the necessary funding is extremely difficult.’

Gaunt said that whatever happens, he’ll be racing in New Zealand next season, but it may not be in a Toyota.

“I’m keen to broaden my experience and drive a car in the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup series, with the possibility of driving one of the new Porsche 997 cars.”

Photo caption: Daniel Gaunt. Pic by Fast Company/Graham Blow

Dixon starts fourth in Kansas

April 29, 2007, 9.30pm. New Zealander Scott Dixon has qualified his Target Dallara-Honda fifth for this weekend’s Kansas Lottery Indy 300 IRL series counter.

His teammate and series leader Dan Wheldon is one spot ahead. Wheldon ran 213.812mph, Dixon 213.793mph.

Tony Kanaan is on pole with a lap of 214.188mph, followed by Sam Hornish Junior (213.992mph) and Helio Castroneves (213.817mph

Dixon says changes to the cars, including taking the wheel covers off, will add a bit more drag to the car and make the racing a little better.

Though he added: “you can’t get it much better here; it’s always good.”

Wheldon expects the race to be tight.

“I think we’re going to have to go do some work to make sure we’re fast enough in the race because I think we’re a little bit better than what we were (in qualifying).

“We definitely have the ability to be very quick but I don’t think we have it right just yet.”

Bartlett wins Sport Saloon title

April 29, 2007, 930pm. Ashburton driver Kerry Bartlett clinched the Kumho Sport Saloon Series at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, today.

His chief rival Mike Small of Timaru suffered engine problems in the first of the series’ three races.

Bartlett won the overall title, his class title and the series handicap championship in what he described as a "good day at the office."

Though Bartlett took the silverware it was Timaru’s Neville Stowell who won all three races and broke the lap record twice in his Nissan Skyline GTR.

It was a day for the Holden Commodores in the Super Six Saloon races.

Newly-crowned New Zealand champion Blair Sutherland (Dunedin) added the South Island title to his resume with two wins and a third place.

Lance Thompson of Lawrence won the opening race in his Commodore and also took a second and third.

Christchurch driver Nathan Blomquist and Peter Hughes (Dunedin) also featured prominently in the three races.

The final Super Six race ended when Lawrence Anthony and Bill Bazley went off the track at the loop.

Steve Ross (Dunedin) won two of the three Pre-65 Saloon races in his Ford Mustang.

Invercargill's Wayne Tuffley was second in the opening race in his Mustang, and Nelson driver Cliff Brunning was the runner-up in the next in his Chevrolet Nova.

Tony Jeffs (Christchurch) was third in both races before winning the finale in his Ford Galaxie.

Andrew Cundall (Invercargill) won the two Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Series races.

Cundall overcame pole-winner Pierre Neame's Ford Capri in the first race with Robert Ralston third in his Nissan Silvia.

Neame retired with a broken driveshaft later in the day, leaving Gary Jenkins of Gore and Ralston to fill second and third respectively in the next race.

Cundall also won his section of the engine capacity class race where the other classes were won by Jenkins, Bradley Dawson and John McKenzie.

Munro Tall of Queenstown made a clean sweep of the Racing Car races in his Reynard.

Behind him James Hargest College student, Damon Leitch of Invercargill, confirmed his potential with three second placings in his smaller engined Van Diemen.

Noel Atley was third on each occasion. The racing cars provided the best fields assembled in their category for many years.

The curtain fell on the 2006/2007 season when Allan Pulley of Winton won the Flying Farewell after a great dice with Ralston.

Pulley and Ralston made a spectacular charge to the flag on the final lap with Pulley winning by 0.2 of a second.

– story by Lindsay Beer.




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