Defending NZ V8 champion Kayne Scott finished his trans-Tasman weekend with a victory in the final race at Timaru.
Timaru International Raceway, March 4, 4.40pm. Tasman-hopping NZ V8 champion Kayne Scott won today’s reverse grid race at Timaru after MotorSport New Zealand officials defused a drivers’ revolt that threatened to stop the race running.
Drivers were still in a meeting called to discuss Scott’s grid position for the final 20-lapper after he missed qualifying and Race 1 because he was racing in theV8 Supercar Development Series in Australia yesterday.
He started sixth after working his way through from the back of the pack to finish eighth in Race 2, run this morning. The reverse grid starting positions are decided on each driver’s points tally from the first two races.
Scott’s 39 points from Race 2 gave him sixth starting position.
Some drivers said that was unfair, giving the champion a starting spot that would make his chances of winning all but inevitable.
But MotorSport NZ president Steven Kennedy reportedly told drivers they had known for two weeks that Scott would not be contesting the first race at Timaru, yet had left it until virtually moments before the race’s scheduled start to make their feelings known.
So the race went ahead, and Scott was in the lead before it was five laps old.
Mike Wallace (Holden Commodore) hung on to second place for the entire distance, though Scott cleared away to win by 14.1 seconds.
Wallace’s crew had rebuilt the car after he got tangled with another car in Race 2.
Clark Proctor was closing in in his Ford Falcon, but was battling oversteer, and couldn’t get close enough to mount an attack for second.
Then came Kevin Williams (Commodore), Nick Ross (Commodore), and Mark Pedersen (Falcon).
Two more Holdens, driven by Cam Hardy and Darryn Henderson, finished in the top 10 to give the red Lion brand a six-four ratio.
Falcon drivers Adam Brook and Pete Roberts finished seventh and 10th.
Other than Scott, none of the series pace-setters got into the 10.
John McIntyre brought his Falcon home 12th, to win the round and retain the series lead.
Andy Booth (Commodore) was second overall for the Timaru round, with Australian David Besnard third in his Falcon.
Besnard might have done better but for a mid-race incident in which he said Angus Fogg had hit him and spun him out.
In fact, race leader Scott had been keeping a weather eye for the Gold Coast fastman, preserving his tyres and the car should he have to stave off the Hydraulink Ford in the closing laps.
In the series-opening round at Pukekohe, Besnard had caught and passed Scott and gone on to win the reverse grid race.
Fogg was slapped with a drive-through penalty for the Timaru incident, a penalty which Besnard said was inadequate.
For an incident in which he had tapped McIntyre accidentally at Manfeild, Besnard said he’d been fined, docked series points, relegated two places and had his racing endorsed.
Saying he was “ropeable,” Besnard said the disparity in the severity of the penalties had him thinking twice about whether he would return to race in the 2007/2008 series.
After Timaru, McIntyre leads the series with 769 points.
Then come Scott (761), Fogg (706), Besnard (668), and Proctor (580).
- Story by Mike Stock at Timaru
Photo caption: John McIntyre won the NZ V8 round at Timaru this weekend. File photograph.