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Heimgartner takes opening BNT V8s race at Manfeild

Andre Heimgartner has won the first race of the weekend at round three of the BNT V8s Championship at Manfeild this afternoon.

The Championship leader was followed to the line by teammate and team owner Lance Hughes, with Brad Lathrope in his Ford Falcon SuperTourer third by the end of the 14-lap encounter.

“Good fun, especially at the start there, Nick got bit of a jump at the start, it was a good race overall. the car is pretty fast. Good to see Lance get second as well,” said Heimgartner post-race.

Australian driver Alexandra Whitley brought out the safety car mid-way through the race, beaching her Toyota Camry in the sand trap at turn one. Having been extracted, she re-joined the race albeit a lap down.

It was a good recovery after a tough start to the weekend for Nick Ross in his Nissan Altima, finishing fifth in the BNT V8s class.

Ross had a disastrous weekend at Round Two last weekend at Pukekohe, missing the final two races of the weekend. He and his Concept Motorsport team worked all week to diagnose the engine issue, eventually arriving at the Manfeild circuit late on Friday afternoon, missing both practice sessions.

With no testing, Ross managed to qualify second behind Heimgartner, however, battled with the set-up of his Nissan during the race.

“We’ve had no testing, so the car was hard to drive, like a pogo stick through the bumps,” said Ross.

Ross was on for a good result, before a small error with two laps to go cost him a handful of places, but is confident with some work overnight, he can be up the front fighting with Heimgartner.

“Two laps to go, coming up to Higgins, the rear end of the car locked up, I was probably trying a little too hard. I don’t think we’re too far away, a couple of little changes overnight, and I think we can be nearer to Andre tomorrow,” said Ross.

The BNT V8s Open class was won by Sam Collins in his Ford Mustang, followed by the Holden Commodore of Blair McDonald with Shane Whitley in third.

BNT V8s Lites was won by Brock Timperley in his Ford Falcon with the Holden Commodore of Justin McIlroy in second.

The BNT V8s Championship have two more races tomorrow.

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