Australian driver Jason Bargwanna has halted the race winning streak of Simon Evans in the BNT NZ Touring Cars, by taking a race win at Ruapuna today.
The two drivers shared a win a piece today, with Evans managing to strike back, winning the final race of the day, with Bargwanna not far behind in second.
Evans won the weekend overall, by just one point over Bargwanna. It was also the first time that the championship adopted a success ballast system, adding 50kg of weight to the Holden Commodore of Evans for race two and three of the weekend.
Driving his Team Richards Toyota Camry, Bargwanna said the win was the result of hard work by his team, after a slow start to his season.
“Really proud of the team to turn around the season we’ve had so far and to deliver a win,” said an elated Bargwanna.
“The car has had good pace this weekend, in race one I think we could have taken it to Simon but we had bit of a brake issue. Race two, I managed to get in front off the start, and once you have a bit of clear air you can just get on with it.”
Bargwanna was looking in a strong position to strike again on Evans in the final race of the weekend before an unfortunate incident with the safety car hampered his progress.
The safety car was called early in the race to recover the stricken car of Nick Farrier, and with the pit window opening, Bargwanna elected to pit on the restart, his approach down pit lane hampered by following the safety car.
“I don’t know who was driving the safety car but to get caught behind it when it’s trundling down the lane at 20km/hr probably cost us five or six seconds. If you put that into the equation, we would have been nose to tail with Simon.”
“The pace between the cars is very similar, I could see towards the end of that last race I was catching Simon who was in the lead. We’ll go again next weekend at Teretonga.”
In class two, it was the flying Southlander Liam MacDonald who took round honours for the third consecutive round, extending his championship lead.
“Really great weekend for myself and my Discount Tyres team. I couldn’t have wished for a better weekend, and now look forward to next weekend at Teretonga, my home track.