Nick Chester and his Chester Plumbing & Bathroom Holden Commodore has won a hard fought battle with Simon Evans in the first race of the BNT V8s Non Championship event at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe this afternoon.
The two Holden drivers fought all the way through the 16-lap encounter, with Evans in his Wet & Forget Holden Commodore getting close on several occasions, but ultimately not enough to make a passing move stick.
The podium was rounded out by the Hamilton Asphalts Holden Commodore of Lance Hughes.
For Chester however, having qualified on pole, taking the win was a great way to start his weekend, and was even more pleased to hold off a hard charging Simon Evans.
“That was a lot of fun, it’s not often you get a close race like that. He’s a good driver, the cars are very similar in pace obviously,” said Chester.
“I seemed to get onto the straights a little bit better, he seems to have a bit more corner pace. Similar lap times though, was good fun.”
The two drivers faced lapped traffic in the closing laps, which presented Evans with multiple passing opportunities. The race could have gone either way with Chester having to defend hard having allowed Evans to make a run up the inside down the back straight with two laps to go.
“He had bit of a run on me, it would have been tight, I had to pull across.”
Despite finishing second, less than a second behind Chester across the line, Evans says he enjoyed the race.
“Really enjoyable race from my end, the two cars are strong and weak, but can produce similar lap times,” said Evans.
“Through turn one and the chicane I could really close up onto him, then he would pull away down the straight. It was like cat and mouse.
“He drove well and didn’t make a mistake.
“Whenever you catch lap traffic its always bit of a lottery, it’s where you catch them. One time I managed to just get up the inside, but he was always going to drag me back down the straight. Couldn’t quite do it.
“We want to try a few more things with the car overnight, and see if we can tune it up to make it a bit better through turn-one.
“Looking forward to another good race tomorrow.”
Following the three podium placers, the top ten of race one was rounded out by John Midgley (Ford Falcon), Nick Ross (Nissan Altima), Shaun Varney (BMW), Brad Lathrope (Ford Falcon), Rob Wallace (Holden Commodore), Paul Radisich (Ford Mustang) and Darryl Clarke (Ford Falcon).
The BNT V8s will have two more 16-lap races at Pukekohe tomorrow.
1 – Nick Chester – Holden Commodore
2 – Simon Evans – Holden Commodore
3 – Lance Hughes – Holden Commodore
4 – John Midgley – Ford Falcon
5 – Nick Ross – Nissan Altima
6 – Shaun Varney – BMW
7 – Brad Lathrope – Ford Falcon
8 – Rob Wallace – Holden Commodore
9 – Paul Radisich – Ford Mustang
10 – Darryl Clarke – Ford Falcon
11 – Eric Hennephof – Holden Commodore
12 – Tim Edgell – Holden Commodore
13 – Nigel Karl – Ford Falcon
DNF – Brayden Phillips – Ford Falcon