Sam Barry claims maiden NZ Touring Cars win
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Simon Evans has won the weekend at the fifth round of the BNT NZ Touring Car Championship at Manfeild.
Evans claimed two wins and a second place over the weekend’s three races giving him enough points to claim the round honours.
Evans [pictured below] looked on form to take his third race win of the weekend in the final encounter before a pit stop error from his team resulted him eventually finishing second.
“We just had an absolute nightmare in that pits top. My guys usually set the standard in pitstops, but it’s just one of those things. You’re allowed to have a bad day in a season, today was it unfortunately. You just have to laugh at these things sometimes,” said Evans.
“Otherwise they did a fantastic job all weekend, the car was a rocketship and we were clearly the fastest all weekend.”
But the story of the weekend and the final feature race was Waipukurau’s Sam Barry who claimed his first race win in the class one championship.
The win was especially memorable considering Barry was involved in a major accident in Saturday’s opening race with Tom Alexander, causing significant damage to his Toyota Camry which was fixed by his Richards Team Motorsport crew overnight.
“Epic. To my team, my mum, my family all of my sponsors, I can’t thank them all enough. I’ve been racing for a few years, and this is by far my biggest win for sure,” said an emotional Barry after the race.
“This kind of makes up for all the damage I caused yesterday in that incident. I was pretty miserable after that race yesterday. But I can’t thank the team enough, they rebuilt the car and actually found an issue which made it better today.”
“The team did an awesome job on the pitstop in that race. They did an awesome job to get me in and out quickly, from there I had clear track and was able to build a lead.”
“I’m going to savour this one for a while.”
The round win in class two went to Brad Lathrope [pictured above], who manged to capitalize on an uncharacteristic bad weekend from championship lead Liam MacDonald.
Lathrope claiming a win and two-second place finishes across the weekend’s three races. MacDonald struck back and won the final race of the weekend, but it was Lathrope who had enough points in the bank to claim the round honors.
“I’m over the moon! It would have been awesome to get three wins but it’s all valuable points for the championship so I can’t really complain too much!” said Lathrope.
“A few of the other guys and girls had some issues, which you don’t like to see, but then again we are all here to win.”
“The team gave me an awesome car, so I really have to thank them enough.”
The sixth and final round of the championship is next month at Hampton Downs.
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