At the north Waikato circuit, Ross qualified third behind Andre Heimgartner and Jason Bargwanna before going on to record an eighth placing, a first and a second over the weekends three races in his Total Lubricants Nissan Altima.
“I was happy to qualify third, the way the rules are with the championship you only have a limited number of tyres to use throughout the season. We lost a few good tyres at Teretonga earlier in the year which were damaged when I went off the track when the rear wing failed. This hampered our testing efforts this weekend, but I was pleased with third as the two guys ahead of us were pretty quick,” said Ross.
In the first race of the weekend, Ross was on for a podium finish until he struck engine trouble with only a handful of laps remaining.
“In the first race we bent a crank in the engine with only a couple of laps to go. The engine would still run, but would keep losing oil pressure. So I just crawled to the finish line to be deemed a finisher and secure some points.”
The Concept Motorsport team burned the midnight oil and worked until 1.00am on Sunday morning to change the engine in the Total Lubricants Nissan Altima to ensure Ross could compete in the two remaining races later that day.
Hitting the track again with his newly powered Nissan, Ross had initially been classified as second in race two of the weekend on Sunday morning, before winner Jason Bargwanna was penalised post race for contact with another competitor. The penalty elevating Ross to first place.
For the final encounter of the weekend, Ross raced at the front of the pack for the whole race, rounding out his busy season with a second place.
“It was great to bounce back and secure a win and a second placing after the hiccup with the engine on Saturday.”
Summarising his year, Ross said he was pleased with the teams improvement following last season.
“We had great pace for most of the year. It’s an incredibly tight championship and we had two bad races. At the first round at Pukekohe where we had a throttle give up on us when we were leading the race, and at Teretonga where the rear wing failed and we had a DNF. Those two bad results were the difference between finishing third and winning the championship.
“We think we’re nearly there with the car as far as performance goes. We have good reliability now, it’s about finding that last extra little sweet spot with the car, that extra tenth of a second on track to have us at the front more regularly.
“We’re pretty happy overall with the season. We’re in that top group of cars, bring on next season.”
Nick Ross, the TOTAL Lubricants Nissan Altima and Concept Motorsport is supported this season by TOTAL Lubricants, Jim Wright Nissan, RYCO 24•7, C&R Developments, Team Wino, Auto Trail Ltd, 82C, NZ Safety Gear, Waikato Aggregates and Tyre Traders.