Penalty strips Richard Moore of NZ Touring Car win, in chaotic day
Richard Moore's storming victory in trying conditions at Hampton Downs for round three of the 2015-16 NZ Touring Car championship was stripped from the racing returnee, after a post race investigation saw penalties handed out to nine cars including his own.
Moore, and a further eight other competitors, were penalized for a breach of rules under safety car. After the lights on the safety car went out, drivers continued to weave and were subsequently given ten second penalties.
"It's a situation where you'd think a warning would be sufficient," said Moore.
"I think someone behind me was a little bit upset about not being able to beat me on track, and they had to do it on paper. Ironically, they got pinged as well."
Smeg Racing's Simon Evans take the initial advantage, take pole position for race one by an impressive nine tenths of a second in his Holden Commodore. Moore was second, with Falcon pilot Mitch Cunningham in third.
The V8 field attempt to navigate a rain-sodden turn one at Hampton Downs. Photo / Velocity NZ
After the dry qualifying session, the opening race got underway in treacherous conditions - claiming an unlucky victim in Lance Hughes, who buried his Hamilton Asphalts Commodore in the turn four sand trap. The incident subsequently bought out the first safety car.
Following a brief safety car period the race restarted with Moore leading the field. However the red flag was soon brought out as leaders Evans and Cunningham became beached at turn one following contact at high speed under brakes. This prompted a red flag, and helped vault Moore to the lead.
On the second restart, Bryce Fullwood would be the one to away a podium position, running off the road at turn one whilst challenging for position.
At the head of the field Moore held his own as Tim Edgell and Jason Bargwanna fought for second and third respectively. However Moore's win was short lived as the penalties were handed out, handing Richards Team Toyota driver Jason Bargwanna the win, and Angus Fogg second in a borrowed car.
"Basically when the safety car lights went out we were still doing a bit of weaving trying to keep the tyres warm.
"I wasn't aware of the rule [...] but it is what it is, we'll push on. From what I know most of the guys behind me got done as well.
"I think we ended up third, but I won the race on track, that's all I give a shit about."
Richard Moore. Photo / Velocity NZ
In class two Kevin Williams looked to have kept up his hot run of form — leading the field home in his Strapping Systems Commodore. But like Moore, he too would receive a penalty, resulting in Cooley taking his second win of the season. Williams and Brad Lathrope rounded out the class two podium.
1. Jason Bargwanna (Toyota Camry) 2. Angus Fogg (Holden Commodore) 3. Richard Moore (Holden Commodore) 4. Tom Alexander (Holden Commodore) 5. Tim Edgell (Holden Commodore) 6. Bryce Fullwood (Holden Commodore) 7. Nick Ross (Nissan Altima) 8. Scott Taylot (Toyota Camry) 9. Brock Cooley (Ford Falcon, class two) 10. Kevin Williams (Holden Commodore)