Smith Wins BNT V8s Season Opener
Australian driver Jack Smith has taken the first win of the season at the opening round of the BNT V8s at Pukekohe today.
Starting from pole position, Smith lost the lead to Nick Ross in his Total Lubricants Nissan Altima off the start, with the Cambridge driver leading for much of the race.
A safety car was called on lap six to retrieve the stricken BMW of Matt Griffin who suffered a steering failure at turn one.
With eight laps to go, the race restarted and Ross held the lead until he locked his rear brakes, forcing him to go off the track at the end of the back straight allowing Smith into the lead.
Smith went on to win the race, Ross finishing second, with Smith’s teammate Lance Hughes holding on for third place.
Smith admitted that if Ross hadn’t had of made a mistake, he was unsure if he would have been able to make a pass.
“The race was challenging, I picked the wrong gear off the start and Nick got by. He had good pace, and it was a bit of cat and mouse, I couldn’t get him,” said Smith.
“I noticed that he was a bit squirmy under brakes and I managed to get by him when he went off at the end of the back straight. If he hadn’t of gone off, I’m not sure if I was going to be able to get by him.
“From there I managed to hold a lead until the end.”
Smith will start from pole position for tomorrows second race and says that his Supercheap Auto Holden Commodore is on the pace this weekend.
“I’ve always liked these cars and have felt comfortable driving them, the car is good. The conditions are a bit changeable, largely affected by the cloud cover, but the car is adapting well.”
Class two was won by Brock Timperley, leading home Matt Podjursky and Matthew Clark.
With Timperley starting from pole Podjursky took the lead off the start and lead much of the race before an axle failure slowed his charge.
Podjursky limped home to finish in second place.
“Matt was fast at the start, our car was set-up to come on later in the race, so we were biding our time to get past,” said Timperley.
“Obviously Matt had a mechanical failure, so it made it easier there.”
“We’re looking good for the rest of the weekend, we’ve got plenty of car speed.”
Class three was won by John De Veth followed by Tony Anderson and Todd Murphy.
The BNT V8s have two more 16-lap races tomorrow.
Caption: Jack Smith won the opening race of the season of the BNT V8s at Pukekohe today.
Release: Freddy Foote, NZ Touring Cars