It’s tight at the top of the BNT NZ Touring Cars point’s table after two rounds with 69 points separating the top four drivers as the championship heads to Hampton Downs this weekend – November 28-29.
With two different specification cars (V8 SuperTourer and NZV8 TLX) now competing against each other in class one, it was Bargwanna who took out the opening round at Taupo in his Toyota Camry TLX, with Simon Evans fighting back at round two in his Holden V8 SuperTourer.
Round two, held at the fast Pukekohe circuit suited the V8 SuperTourers, which have slightly more power than their TLX rivals, however the racing will be closer at the tighter Hampton Downs circuit.
Whilst happy with two race victories and the round win at Pukekohe, Evans is mindful that it is likely to be a different story at round three, when the series visits the northern Waikato Hampton Downs circuit.
“We were strong at Pukekohe, however tracks like Hampton Downs and Ruapuna will suit the TLX spec cars, particularly the Toyota Camry. The TLX cars have more adjustments in the springs that they run so can tune the car more for the tighter more technical circuits.”
The Toyota Camry has already proved its pedigree this season, with Bargwanna winning the opening round at Taupo, however the vocal Australian was proud of his Richard Toyota team at Pukekohe.
“I am very proud of our little Camry up against the big 7-litre V8ST cars at the place of power...Pukekohe,” says Bargwanna.
“The Camry ran like a dream, in qualifying I left nothing on the table to pull out a 1.05.1, a full 7 tenths faster than we have been at puke before and good enough to be on the second row, right in amongst the 7-litre monsters.”
“Pukekohe was always going to be our worst track so to be that close is a relief. Bring on Hampton Downs and Ruapuna...’Camry Country’.”
In class two of the championship Kevin Williams dominated the weekend at Pukekohe in his Strapping Systems Holden, with pole position, three race wins and the fastest lap.
Showing his experience, Williams is pleased with his performance over the opening two rounds. With his eye on the championship he is looking for the younger drivers in the series to step up and challenge him at the front.
“I think we’re doing a good job at the moment, we won at Taupo, and we won here. It’s taken me a long time to learn these cars and learn how to go fast.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing the younger guys in the class step up and challenge as the season progresses. Bring it on.”
Sitting third in the class two championship with a string of strong to his name, Brock Cooley of Wellington is relishing the championship fight.
“It’s a great class for younger drivers, especially when you have a good bench mark like Kevin Williams to go up against. I’m looking forward to getting to Hampton Downs and seeing how we go against him again this weekend.”
Class two will see Bronson Porter driving a Holden Commodore joining the series after engine troubles earlier in the season hampered his championship start. Nick Thompson will also join the class, driving a Ford Falcon.