It’s tight at the top of the BNT NZ Touring Cars point’s table after two rounds with 69 points separating the top four drivers as the championship heads to Hampton Downs this weekend — November 28-29.
With two different specification cars (V8 SuperTourer and NZV8 TLX) now competing against each other in class one, it was Bargwanna who took out the opening round at Taupo in his Toyota Camry TLX, with Simon Evans fighting back at round two in his Holden V8 SuperTourer.
Round two, held at the fast Pukekohe circuit suited the V8 SuperTourers, which have slightly more power than their TLX rivals, however the racing will be closer at the tighter Hampton Downs circuit.
Simon Evans was a dominant force at Pukekohe, despite this off during race two. Photo / Velocity NZ
Whilst happy with two race victories and the round win at Pukekohe, Evans is mindful that it is likely to be a different story at round three, when the series visits the northern Waikato Hampton Downs circuit.
“We were strong at Pukekohe, however tracks like Hampton Downs and Ruapuna will suit the TLX spec cars, particularly the Toyota Camry. The TLX cars have more adjustments in the springs that they run so can tune the car more for the tighter more technical circuits,” said Evans.
The Toyota Camry has already proved its pedigree this season, with Bargwanna winning the opening round at Taupo, however the vocal Australian was proud of his Richard Toyota team at Pukekohe.
“The Camry ran like a dream, in qualifying I left nothing on the table to pull out a 1.05.1, a full 7 tenths faster than we have been at puke before and good enough to be on the second row, right in amongst the 7-litre monsters,” explained Bargwanna.
“Pukekohe was always going to be our worst track so to be that close is a relief.”
Some of the competitive class two drivers navigate Pukekohe, Brad Lathrope leading Liam MacDonald and Kevin Williams. Photo / Velocity NZ
In class two of the championship Kevin Williams dominated the weekend at Pukekohe in his Strapping Systems Holden, with pole position, three race wins and the fastest lap.
“I think we’re doing a good job at the moment, we won at Taupo, and we won here. It’s taken me a long time to learn these cars and learn how to go fast. I’m looking forward to seeing the younger guys in the class step up and challenge as the season progresses,” he said.
Class two will also see Bronson Porter driving a Holden Commodore joining the series after engine troubles earlier in the season hampered his championship start. Nick Thompson will also join the class, driving a Ford Falcon.