Andre Heimgartner has won the opening race of the weekend at Round 2 of the BNT V8s at Taupo this afternoon.
Heimgartner was chased home by his Richards Team Motorsport teammate, Australian Jason Bargwanna, with fellow countryman Jack Smith in third.
Starting from pole, Heimgartner was largely unchallenged during the race, holding his lead through turn one with Bargwanna slipping by Smith and settling into second. The trio remained one, two, three for the remainder of the race.
From there, Heimgartner controlled the pace and went on to win the 12-lap encounter.
“The car was handling really well, and I managed to just drive away really,” said Heimgartner.
“Early on I was pushing a bit harder, but once I had bit of a gap to Jason I eased it off and tried not to burn the tyres up for the rest of the race.”
Heimgartner will again start off pole for tomorrows second race of the weekend.
The class two field was won by Chelsea Herbert who scored her maiden victory in the category.
“I’m really pleased to get my first win. We’ve had a tough day today with a few issues with the car, but to pull out a win at the end of the day is really good for myself and the team. Really happy!” said Herbert.
Herbert challenged reigning champion Liam MacDonald, who lead for most of the race until she made her move stick with three laps to go.
“Liam is last season’s champion for a reason, so it wasn’t an easy race. I had a slipping clutch so I didn’t have any speed down the straights, so I had to get him through the corners.
“He knew where to defend well and it was up to me to decide how to pass.”
The class two podium was rounded out with rookie Matt Podjursky in second with Justin Ashwell coming home in third.
Herbert will start tomorrows second race from fifth, with the top five from today’s race reversed for race two.