Earl Bamber wins Higgins Trophy Race at Manfeild after titanic duel with Daniel Gaunt.
A1GP driver, Earl Bamber, added one of the plums of New Zealand open-wheeler racing, the Dan Higgins Trophy, to his display cabinet at Manfeild yesterday.
Bamber started from pole in a race run in rain and high winds. But he and fellow front row starter, Toyota Racing Series leader Mitch Cunningham (pictured) were passed by a determined Daniel Gaunt in the first corner.
Gaunt and Bamber disputed the lead most of the race, Bamber pushing and probing till Gaunt slid off the track in the final laps.
That left Bamber to win, from Sam MacNeill, Michael Burdett, Alister Wootten and Keeley Pudney.
Cunningham had dropped to the back of the field after slipping off the track, and drove to salvage as many places and points as possible.
"It was a great duel, best I've had in years,” Bamber said. “I was just pushing harder and harder and aiming to pressure Daniel into a mistake. I would have had a proper go in the last couple of laps if I had to."