Scott scores for the Kiwis
New Zealand has taken out the Trans Tasman Challenge with Kayne Scott winning the last race in the five round series and finishing on top of the points table.
The series started at Phillip Island in Victoria and had one race cancelled due to a heavy downpour while the last round, at Timaru in New Zealand also had its dramas as Australian Sports Sedan Champion, Kerry Baily survived a fiery crash.
The weather for Friday's practice was very cold and rainy with limited competitive practice laps. The Holden Commodore of Australian Rodney Woods blew his Chev engine and would take no further part, "I was bedding in brake pads then the rain came, in the second session I was just building up speed when the motor let go on the front straight doing about 6000 revs, looks like a conrod has let go and made a bit of a mess."
Fellow visitor Dean Randle went off at turn one after leaving his braking too late, and hit the tyre wall and damaged the front on his Saab/Chev. The spare front was put on the car.
Baily, the third of the Aussies, changed gear ratios and took part in a few laps towards the end of the day when conditions became fairer.
Shane Drake, Kayne Scott, Bernie Gillon and Craig Gilbert all had minimal practice laps due to weather with Scott setting the fastest lap of 60.560 seconds.
Qualifying - Top Ten
Shane Drake (NZ) 59.45, Kayne Scott (NZ) 59.68, Craig Gilbert (NZ) 59.77,
Bernie Gillon (NZ) 61.09, Dean Randle (Aus) 62.29, Steve Ross (NZ) 63.41, Dennis Running (NZ) 63.55, Eddie Fairbairn (NZ) 64.48, Kerry Baily (Aus) 64.81, Roger Fawbert (NZ) 66.10.
Race One (8 laps)
Drake led throughout the first race, setting the fastest lap enroute. Gilbert and Scott diced for second but with a lap to go, they had a coming together with both going off the track and allowing Gillon to obtain second spot.
Randle was running fourth, having taken Gillon on the second lap. However the leading Aussie hit a flag marshal point on lap four with his Saab/Chev sustaining significant damage on the drivers side including bent differential, suspension and panels.
Baily started well picking up places off the line and finished a solid fourth ahead of Dennis Running, the recovering Scott and Roger Fawbert. Steve Ross and Eddie Fairbairn also figured among the retirees.
Race Two (8 laps)
The race was started as reverse top ten of previous race. Gilbert's car broke a rear hub on the warm up lap, ruling him out.
Fairbairn took the early lead. Despite Gillon having no first gear or clutch, he was able to challenge the leader but a touch whilst trying to pass caused Fairbairn to rip out a tyre valve, which caused a puncture.
Scott inherited the lead after Gillon blew his Cosworth-built Ford V8, and he was soon under attack from Drake, the pair clearing out from the rest by race's end.
There was a good mid-field battle between Faibairn, Ross, Running and Randle with Baily not far behind. On the last lap Baily broke a tail shaft while coming down the front straight and with no brakes and the car on fire, crashed backwards into a tyre wall.
Also on the last lap Drake came into contact with Scott with the latter spinning. Drake took the flag with Scott second and Fairbairn third ahead of Running, Ross and Randle.
A steward hearing later reinstated Scott with the win and Drake in second with a 14-second penalty and $400 fine.
TRANS TASMAN CHALLENGE POINTS
Kayne Scott (NZ) 77, Shane Drake (NZ) 64, Darren Hossack (Aus) 57, Bernie Gillon (NZ) 53, Craig Gilbert (NZ) 45, Dean Randle (Aus) 44, Kerry Baily (Aus) 41.