Invercargill driver Liam MacDonald has won his second consecutive round in the 2016/2017 BNT NZ Touring Car Championship. MacDonald won the opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway last month and this weekend followed it up with another round win, this one at the second round of the championship at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo.
After qualifying third fastest in the GT Radial NZ Ford Falcon MacDonald won the opening race on Saturday afternoon after passing fellow Southlander Jamie Conroy near the end of the race. It was far from plain sailing however as MacDonald cracked a hub early in the race and from that point on, in his words, “the car wasn’t nice to drive.”
However luck was on his shoulder as he crossed the line in the lead only to break a cam just seconds later. The team worked all night to fix the car and it was finally fired up just 40 minutes before the start of Sunday morning’s race. The GT Radial NZ Ford Falcon had no pace early in that race with the 18-year-old tumbling down the order early on before fighting his way back through to third place.
He then won the third and final race on Sunday afternoon after a great battle with Conroy to complete his fourth race win from six so far in the championship and to take his second round victory of the season.
It was another superb result and even more notable for the fact that it was the young driver’s first visit to the Taupo circuit.
As he waited to step up to the podium at the end of the round on Sunday afternoon MacDonald declared himself “absolutely rapt” with the weekend.
MacDonald is tackling the 2016/2017 BNT NZ Touring Car Championship with the support of GT Radial NZ, Classic Car Warehouse Invercargill, Advanti Racing and YHI NZ, Ideal Electrical, BNT NZ, Auto Windscreen Replacement Ltd, Southern Bolts & Fasteners, Auto Fab, NAC Insurance, Speedy Signs Invercargill, Derek Orr Auto Refinisher, Southern Probuilt Engines, DAL Photographics, Discount Tyres Invercargill and Sport Scholarships with the Community Trust of Southland and the ILT Foundation.
The next round of the championship takes place at Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch over the weekend of 14/15 January.