Two wins to McIntyre
Reigning champion McIntyre scored a strong victory in the opening NZ V8s Championship race on Saturday afternoon.
McIntyre started the BP Ultimate Falcon from third on the grid, and got the jump on Kayne Scott (Falcon) to slot in behind pole-winner Andy Booth’s Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore on the run to the first corner.
Booth led for several laps before McIntyre passed him on the inside line at the tight left-hand corner off the back straight.
Scott closed in on Booth but the Holden driver held him off as Paul Radisich (HPM Falcon) began attacking the Fujitsu car.
Booth’s charge ended when the Commodore got out of shape with only a handful of laps left. He resumed in fifth place behind Angus Fogg’s Caltex Havoline Ford.
McIntyre won by a good margin, from Scott, Radisich, Fogg and Booth.
Former series regular Paul Pedersen (Falcon) made a strong return to the track, finishing sixth after getting the better of a battle with Paul Manuell (Orix Commodore).
Manuel had been running in the top four in the opening laps, but got out of shape as he made a bold passing move at the end of the main straight.
The Commodore speared off the track and Manuell dropped down the order.
In Race 2, Booth put Holden back into the winner’s circle when he drove the Tasman Motorsport Commodore to a narrow victory.
Booth and McIntyre fought a race-long battle after Booth made a storming start and dived inside pole-starter McIntyre on the run to Turn 1.
Officials later judge that Booth had made contact with McIntyre as he forced his way past.
They docked him 50 seconds, which dropped him right down the order and gave the race win to McIntyre.
After forcing his way through, Booth had opened a small lead. McIntyre came back at him, and then eased back a little mid-race before storming back in the closing laps.
Booth, troubled a little by his Commodore’s instability under hard braking, thought he had enough of a gap as they went into the corner off the main straight on the final lap.
But McIntyre pulled out one final effort, and poked the Ford’s nose under the Commodore as they turned into the final left-hander.
But Booth held on to cross the line first.
Ford racers Fogg and Radisich finished third and fourth, ahead of Manuell (Commodore) and Paul Pedersen (Falcon) who had battled for the entire 18-lap distance.
Scott was eighth in the Fujitsu Falcon after running third in the opening laps. He had been troubled by gear selection problems which kept him from mounting an attack on McIntyre.
Later the Falcon got locked out of first and second gears and he fell down the order.
The Mark Petch Motorsport crew changed the gearbox for the final reverse grid race.