Triple X Motorsport driver Earl Bamber has won the first Grand Prix of 2010, held at Manfeild onthe weekend
The 19-year-old Wanganui-based Bamber started the 35-lap race from the front row of the grid, taking the win by a half-second margin in the VnC Cocktails Mad Butcher Toyota FT40 car.
Following squally weather conditions in the Saturday build-up race that Bamber failed to finish, the Grand Prix started under clear skies with a gentle breeze. Bamber started well, but had to settle for second behind the younger rival Mitch Evans. Then a safety car incident bunched the field that allowed Bamber to pressure for the advantage at the re-start with six laps to run.
“Mitch (Evans) was really quick in the beginning and our car was set to get faster later in the race so I knew if I could stay close enough we should be able to take the lead. Once the safety car came out I knew we had the better pace so from the restart we had a good attack, a bit of contact, but we got a clean pass to get the job done,” said Bamber as he collected his accolades.
“It’s a credit to the team – throughout the season they’ve done a great job and now we’ve got the best result by winning the Grand Prix.
“It’s what you dream about winning,” added Bamber. “The Grand Prix is such a big prize internationally, so to be a Kiwi name alongside so many internationals is very special – especially having the Triple X Motorsport team win it back-to-back.”
Concluding the international segment of the five round Toyota Racing Series, Bamber has secured his second overall in the standings with one round remaining – to be contested late March near Taupo.
Results: 2010 New Zealand Grand Prix – Manfeild
Pos car driver time
1 7 Earl Bamber 38min43.796
2 4 Mitchell Evans +0.512
3 20 Sten Pentus +1.207
4 47 Ritchie Stanaway +3.315
5 9 Daniel Jilesen +4.214
6 8 Jamie McNee +5.312
7 6 Sam MacNeill +5.378
8 48 Andrew Waite +6.888
9 69 Alistair Wootten +7.311
10 11 Ken Smith +10.450
11 41 Stefan Webling +2 Laps