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Beziac & Lester Win Open Class, While Giddy Takes GT4 Honours in Golden Homes GT NZ Championship

Francois Beziac and Jono Lester have taken victory in race one of the Golden Homes GT NZ Championship, with Joel Giddy taking victory in the GT4 class aboard his Mercedes AMG at Manfeild this afternoon.

The open class podium was rounded out with Marco Giltrap second and Paul Pedersen finishing in third. The GT4 podium saw Todd Bawden in his McLaren second, with Grant Aitken in a Porsche third.

There was some unfortunate drama before the race started, with Open Class title contender Heremana Malmezac stranded in the pits. An apparent fuel pump issue in his Porsche, preventing him from starting the race.

Off the start, pole sitter Beziac, was passed by Giltrap, with the Porsche of Luke Manson making a pass on Beziac at the end of lap one to slot into P2.

Further behind in GT4, class polesitter Nigel Cromie, held his lead off the start, with his title rival and points leader Jono McFarlane behind in 7th place.

As the field got into a rhythm, there was a problem for the Aston Martin of Stephen Harrison, who pitted with an oil cooler issue, which had sustained damage after contact with another car.

It was a similar issue for team mate, Allan Sargeant in his Ginetta. An excursion into the gravel breaking an oil pump belt. The Race Lab team now working hard to get both cars repaired for tomorrow’s two races.

By lap 18, the leaders started to make their compulsory pit stops. Giltrap coming in, along with Manson, who managed to emerge ahead when they re-joined the race.

Francois Beziac also pitted, handing over to co-driver Jono Lester.

There was trouble for Manson, who was forced to make an unscheduled pitstop on lap 25, to change a punctured left rear tyre. His International Motorsport team getting the tyre changed, and back into the race.

While GT4 leader Nigel Cromie pitted for his stop, there was a moment of panic for GT4 championship leader Jono McFarlane, who spun in at the turn five hairpin.

With the pitstops complete, Lester began to claw his way back through the field, eventually catching Giltrap who had reclaimed the lead after his stop. Lester slipping by, and then proceeding to pull away with 20-minutes to go.

Behind, it was Paul Pedersen in third, who was hounded for the remaining 10 laps. With the chequered flag falling, it was Lester, Giltrap and Pedersen. With Steele/Southam in fourth, and Rob Anderson fifth.

Back in GT4, Joel Giddy found himself in the lead, and further back, Jono McFarlane had recovered from his spin on track, and managed to catch and pass his title rival Cromie. The duo finishing just off the podium in fourth and fifth respectively.

Marco Giltrap now leads the Open Class with 900 points, Francois Beziac is second on 824, with Luke Manson third on 813.

In GT4, Jono McFarlane has extended his lead over Nigel Cromie, with 897 points. Cromie sits on 849, with Todd Bawden third on 763.
The Golden Homes GT NZ Championship have two 30-minute races, remaining tomorrow. 75 points are on offer for a race win.

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