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White wins Mazda Racing Series round And South Island title

Chris White of Prebbleton has won the latest round of the Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell.

It was the second round of the National Series and also the fourth and final round of the South Island Series. White topped the weekend podium ahead of Timaru driver Will Kitching and reigning National Series winner Simon Baker to seal his second South Island title in succession.

It came amongst another pulsating weekend of action with a thirty-car grid, close, clean, racing and positive feedback from competitors.

White had qualified fastest on Saturday and the opening race later in the day was a beauty. White won it but only after a prolonged battle with early leader Stiaan Kriel of Auckland and then a frantic battle over the final laps. White won from Baker and Auckland’s Sam Dashfield while Kitching who led on the final lap limped home in fourth place with a damaged gearbox. Kriel had retired after glancing a wall due to a broken rear toe arm.

The following morning Karl Gaines of Auckland led all the way in a race with the top ten reversed from the previous day’s result. Behind him Kitching climbed to second and White was third with Baker fourth in a race which ended under safety car after Steven Spear spun and got caught in a sand trap after the infamous bridge crossing. Dashfield received a penalty after contact with another competitor which dropped him down the order.

The finale saw White build a five second lead only to lose it due to a prolonged safety car period mid-race. The Safety Car was due to Roger Beuvink who had spun and ended in the same sand trap as Steven Spear had earlier. At the same time Stuart Lawton and Anthony Tork tangled, Lawton getting a five second penalty for his part in it. Due to time constraints the race then became a one lap sprint to the finish with White winning from Kitching who snuck past Baker on the final lap. Kriel came through the field to fourth followed by Dashfield, Gaines and Dodd with impressive recent newcomers, Sam Wallace, Arthur Broughan and Ben McConochie completing the top ten.

It is now the tenth year of RX8 racing within the series and it was announced during the weekend that a new award, the Founders Trophy, will be introduced this season as a North Island versus South Island Challenge. The trophy acknowledges the founders of the series, Garry Cliff, Roger Townshend and David Bell. Currently the North Island lead the South Island 926 points to 921.

Points updates: https://www.mazdaracingseries.co.nz/season-points

The next round of the Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series is at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in North Waikato over the weekend of 16/17 March. The round will be Round 3 of both the National and North Island Series.

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