Toyota Camry driver Jason Bargwanna has taken the first win of the weekend in the final round of the BNT V8s Championship at Hampton Downs.
Bargwanna earlier clinched pole position from teammate Andre Heimgartner - both drivers locked in battle to claim the driver’s title.
At the chequered flag, Heimgartner followed Bargwanna to the line in second position, with Lance Hughes in his Holden coming third.
Heimgartner had held second place for much of the race before falling back as far as fourth place during the race. Letting Nick Ross and Lance Hughes through.
“My mirror folded in, so anytime any of the others guys put their nose in I didn’t know. So I ended up taking the wider line to give them room, even if they weren’t there. It held me up a lot, but luckily the race fell back in my favour at the end,” said Heimgartner.
Coming into the weekend, Heimgartner had held a 69-point over Bargwanna and now after race one of three for the weekend complete, the point’s gap has now narrowed to 61 points.
Bargwanna says he’s still in with a shot of clinching his third BNT V8 title out from under the nose of his young teammate.
“Its one of those weekends where you have to do the best you can, and what will be will be,” said Bargwanna.
“At one stage I looked in my mirror and couldn’t see anyone, couldn’t see Andre and I thought this could be good!
“We had to be very cautious early on as the track was breaking up everywhere. There’s not a lot of grip with the track temp not up so it would be easy to make a mistake. For me it was about controlling the pace and looking after the tyres for tomorrow.
“The goal for my weekend is to get two poles, and three race wins and the championship will take care of itself. So far we are on track, lets see what Sunday brings.”
Behind the class one field there was plenty of drama as the class two contenders Liam MacDonald and Chelsea Herbert made contact on track. With one lap to go, MacDonald was holding second place with Herbert close behind in third.
Herbert made contact with the rear of the MacDonald Falcon, sending it into a spin.
Herbert crossing the line in third place behind Matt Podjursky who claimed second spot with Brock Timperley claiming the race win.
MacDonald recovered to finish in fifth position and it is believed the stewards may take action against Herbert overnight.
For Timperley who came into the weekend as an outside chance of winning the championship, it was the perfect start to his weekend.
“Great start to the weekend. We came into this weekend just trying to have the best weekend possible. Get pole, win as many races as we can, and let the championship play out behind us. Which it seems to be doing so far!” said Timperley.
“Reverse grid race for us tomorrow, we’ll see if we can get through the traffic and get another win. It’s important for us to finish ahead of Liam and Chelsea.”
Class three was won by John De Veth followed by Blair McDonald and Jono Lester.
Bumper Field Set for BNT V8s Final
A bumper 22-car field will hit the track for the final round of the BNT V8s championship at Hampton Downs this weekend.
Two championship titles will be decided by the end of racing on Sunday afternoon where the points battle in both class one and two is incredibly tight, three drivers in each class vying for the top spot of the table.
Class one is lead by Andre Heimgartner in his Richards Team Motorsport Toyota Camry with 998 points. Just 69 points behind on 929 is his teammate, Australian Jason Bargwanna, with Nick Ross a further 45 points behind in his Nissan Altima.
Also contesting the class one field are a trio of Holden Commodores from Lance Hughes, Jack Smith and Matt Tubbs, while Brad Lathrope will again campaign his Ford Falcon. Also look to see the Toyota Camry of Scott Taylor who has been recovering from a back injury. If Taylors back isn’t up to the task, Kiwi Craig Baird will take the wheel for the weekend.
In class two, Liam MacDonald holds a slim lead of just 12 points over Chelsea Herbert. Only 49 points behind Herbert is Brock Timperley who is enjoying some late season form having won races at the last two rounds, including a clean sweep at Manfeild.
Bolstering the class two field will be Justin Ashwell, Nick Farrier, Rob Wallace and Matt Podjursky. All three capable of taking a race win out from under the noses of the championship contenders.
The class three invitational class will see a wide range of cars entered. Expect to see the V8 SuperTourer specification cars of Todd Murphy, John DeVeth, Tony Anderson, Eric Hennephof and Blair McDonald. As well as a pair of Ford Falcons driven by Nigel Karl and Jono Lester.
BNT V8s Category manager Gary Lathrope says that the series has been working steadily on providing a formula for eligible V8 cars to compete in the championship on more of a full time basis.
“We realise there are a number of cars capable of competing in our championship currently running in other categories,” says Lathrope.
“We have been working on a formula that makes it more simple for these competitors and cars to run with us in the future.”
“But for this weekend, we feel fans will enjoy a strong field of V8s taking to the Hampton Downs circuit.”
The BNT V8s will have one race on Saturday, followed by two races on Sunday to complete the season.
Freddy Foote - Media Manager