Former champion Kayne Scott drove to a dominant win in the first NZ V8s race at Teretonga, near Invercargill.
Fujitsu Ford Falcon racer Kayne Scott converted his pole starting position into a strong victory in today’s opening NZ V8s race at Teretonga Park, Invercargill.
The former champion was initially engaged in battle by Big Ben Pies Holden Commodore driver Andy Booth who actually won the rolling start drag race to edge slightly ahead as they entered Turn 1.
But Booth had been hung out to dry there by Scott last year, so he “snuck in behind him” as they turned into the sweeping corner.
The idea was to hang on to Scott and be in the right place to challenge again as the race progressed.
“But I was trying so hard to keep with Kayne going into Castrol Corner (the right-hander leading into the Esses) that I messed up under brakes and lost half a dozen car lengths.
“It was always going to be hard to get that back.”
From then on it was a matter of keeping Angus Fogg’s Caltex Havoline Falcon behind him.
Fogg came at him mid-race and again in the closing laps, but as the chequered flag fell, Booth was three-tenths of a second ahead of Fogg.
Fogg’s third-placing has seen him close the gap to series points-leader John McIntyre who dropped out of today’s race when the BP Ultimate Falcon blew its engine on lap two while McIntyre was disputing fourth place with Paul Manuell’s Orix Commodore.
As he coasted back towards the pits, McIntyre’s mind was working overtime, calculating the points permutations for tomorrow’s two races.
He decided he has only to finish better than 20th in Race 2, and if he can finish ahead of Fogg in the reverse grid 22-lapper, his points lead and repeat title should be safe.
Manuell finished fourth in today’s race and will start Race 2 from fourth on the grid, outside Booth – the first time this season that the two Wayne Anderson-run Falcons have shared the same row.
Manuell came under attack from Clark Proctor (Metalman Falcon) early in the race, but Proctor dropped back after trying to make an outside-line passing move in the sweeper.
“I made a small mistake at the Brickyard (a corner on the back section of the Teretonga racetrack) and Proctor was right on me,” Manuell said.
“Then he tried going on the outside in the sweeper and luckily he dropped back six or seven car lengths.”
Manuell said his race then became “a bit of a procession. I like there to be more action than that, but I’m not going to slow down to create some.”
Manuell said McIntyre had tried a passing move on him during lap one and when McIntyre went for first gear Manuell heard a shrieking rev from the engine.
Proctor finished fifth, ahead of Mark Pedersen’s United Video Falcon, and the Fords of Dean Perkins, David Besnard and Kent Youlden, the latter Pair swapping places during what was otherwise a largely processional race.
Andrew Anderson finished 10th in the ITM/Pinepac Commodore.
Scott had clearly had the fastest car in the race – his fastest lap was 63.325 seconds, 0.3 of a second better than the next-quickest car.
Once he had broken away from Booth, it was “easy enough” to keep ahead of the Holden.
“I didn’t button off, though, because this is a flowing track,” Scott said. “If you ease off a fraction here you don’t lose a tenth of a second, you lose a second.”
Scott said he’d had one lapse, and had posted a 64 second lap, the only time he’d been out of the 63 seconds bracket all race.
He had also pushed on to guarantee a pole starting place for Race 2.
“I’ll start from pole tomorrow. I wanted that. That’s why I charged early.”