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GTRNZ: Series Taupo Saturday report

BRENNAN TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP Tauranga driver Grant Brennan became the first driver in the GTRNZ Championship to seal his class title as the final round began at the Taupo Motorsport Park today. The GTRNZ Championship is split into three classes...

BRENNAN TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP

Tauranga driver Grant Brennan became the first driver in the GTRNZ Championship to seal his class title as the final round began at the Taupo Motorsport Park today.

The GTRNZ Championship is split into three classes - GT1, GT2 and NZGT - and Brennan clinched the GT1 title today in an eventful race.

Palmerston North driver Cameron Jones took pole position in his Mazda RX666 (a Camaro powered by a Mazda rotary engine) ahead of Brennan with Dayne Running of Drury in a Chev Corvette third. Two more Corvette drivers, Andy Greenslade of Tauranga and John Rae of New Plymouth, were next.

When the first race got underway this afternoon Running ducked under Jones at the first corner while Greenslade went around the outside of the Palmerston North driver. However further back Rae got tapped and spun around. Running emerged in the lead which he held until the second lap when Brennan took over. A brilliant race ensued with a fantastic battle between Brennan, Greenslade, Running and Jones. With just two laps to go championship leader Brennan slowed with a vibration allowing Greenslade into the lead. However second place was enough to seal the championship for Brennan. Jones held on for third place today while Running, who actually crossed the line second, was credited with fourth after receiving a 5 second penalty for jumping the start. Tim Rooney of Papamoa was fifth in his Mustang while John Rae charged back through the field to seize sixth place in his Corvette.

Meanwhile the GT2 Class remains wide open after the two leading competitors Craig Corliss and Wayne Conder, both of Auckland, had a wonderful battle today. Championship leader Corliss qualified fastest and led for 2/3 of the race in his Falcon V8 Supercar before Conder got by in his Chev Camaro to win the race, setting a new GT2 lap record on the way. Roger Fawbert of Upper Hutt was third in his Camaro

Jon Telford of Dannevirke crossed the line first in the NZGT race in his Lexus V8 powered Mitsubishi GTO but received a 10 second penalty for breaking out of his lap time window. That dropped him to seventh giving victory to championship contender Andre Cowan of Auckland in a BMW 325. Brock Cooley of Wellington was second in his Mitsubishi EVO followed by championship leader Brent Lander of New Plymouth. Mount Maunganui driver Grant Crosby was next in his Holden Commodore followed by Manawatu driver Tony Satherley in a Subaru Impreza and Geoff Clarkson of Auckland in a Nissan Skyline who battled throughout the race. Telford slotted in next ahead of another in contention for the championship, Stephen Brown-Thomas in another Impreza.

The category featured more superb entries for this, the final round, with 21 cars in the combined GT1/GT2 field and 30 entries in the NZGT Class.

Each class has two more races tomorrow and the GT2 and NZGT Class titles will be on the line. In the GT1 Class Brennan and his team will attempt to trace the origin of the vibration in his Brennan SB2 Corvette tonight. If it cannot be located then the new champion will be a non-starter tomorrow.

GTRNZ competes as part of the IRC Summer Of Thunder Tour, at the Easter Thunder meeting at Taupo.

-source: gtrnz

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