BESNARD WINS ON DEBUT IN NZV8 CHAMPIONSHIP
Australian David Besnard has made an impressive start to the NZV8 Championship by dominating the opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway aboard his Hydraulink Racing Falcon this weekend.
Besnard outclassed the field with two superb victories and a second placing in the three races contested throughout the weekend. With a total of 225 points up for grabs, Besnard topped the table with a total of 217 for the weekend and finished 43 points ahead of the nearest rival.
Courtesy of setting the fastest time during yesterday's opening race Besnard started this morning's 16-lap race from pole position. The Queensland based driver settled into a steady rhythm while still adapting to the characteristics of the Hydraulink Racing Falcon during the early laps. He took over the lead with six laps remaining and went on to cross the line 1.7 seconds clear of second place.
As the highest points scorer it meant Besnard started from the back of the 30-car field in the full reverse grid final race.
With the 20-lap race red-flagged on the opening lap, the restart initiated Besnard's clinical disposal of cars running ahead of him. Throughout the race he exercised his ability as a consummate professional and by the half-way mark he had elevated himself into third position.
The extending gap to the leaders was of no barrier as Besnard was challenging for the lead on lap 16. Following a two-lap see-saw battle, Besnard motored past last year's championship runner up, Angus Fogg, with two laps remaining to take his second victory of the day.
"I guess we were the best under pressure," joked Besnard as he reflected on the Hydraulink business motto.
"After a slow start we kept our cool and never gave up -- now we've got a car that just gets better and better. It has awesome horsepower that just made me look good, it has been an awesome effort by the whole team.
"It's just an awesome effort really and I have to thank Bairdo (Craig Baird) for setting up this deal for me. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been introduced to Greg (Bellingham) and been given this opportunity to compete in the championship. It's a great team -- no egos, so really enjoyable.
"Even though we've had a dream run here today, we need to get more out of the car. This is the first round with six to go so we need to keep moving forward."
Co-owner of the Hydraulink business corporation, Lee Short paid special tribute to the winning result from Besnard and the team.
"What an unbelievable drive," said Short.
"It's a strong and obviously fast car, but we're especially proud to have David Besnard as an Australian driving here. Not only do we have business in both Australia and New Zealand but I believe it really lifts the New Zealand scene to have drivers of David's calibre racing here.
"To win in front of over 300 corporate supporters; their cheering on the hill was just as unbelievable -- a real tribute to the team in having such a well prepared car."
John McIntyre finished second overall for the weekend with Fogg third followed by Australian Luke Youlden.
Besnard's #48 Hydraulink Racing Falcon carried signage as a tribute to the late Mark Porter, who tragically lost his life at Bathurst last month. Mark's brother Andrew drove two laps in one of Porter's Hydraulink V8 Supercars during the lunch break.
The second round of the NZV8s Championship will be held at Ruapuna Park Raceway in Christchurch on November 24-26.
-credit: bam media