KNIGHT EXCELS TO SECURE MORE GOOD RESULTS
Christchurch driver Andy Knight once again showed his undoubted talent during Round 4 of the BNT V8s Championship at Timaru over the weekend.
Knight has gained some top placings in recent rounds of the championship including his first series win at his home track in November. He began this weekends round with the same engine that he had used last weekend at Teretonga, one that had proved to have less horsepower than the original unit. Despite that Andy was a fixture in the top ten throughout testing and qualifying. In the first segment of qualifying Knight hustled the Century Batteries Falcon around the twisty 2.4 kilometre Timaru circuit to set the fifth fastest lap time of the session. That lap advanced him into the top ten shootout and Knight recorded a time of 1 minute 06.739 seconds in one of the most competitive shootouts the class has seen. The time was just .739 of a second off pole position.
Overnight the team changed engines again, a move that would see the Century Batteries Falcon start from the back of the grid in Sunday mornings opening race. However despite the fact that the tight Timaru circuit is very difficult to pass on Knight, a former New Zealand Grand Prix winner, drove brilliantly to make his way through the field to seventh place in an eye catching drive. In the second race early in the afternoon Knight again impressed, progressing up the order to seal a fifth place finish.
The final race over 22 laps was the traditional reverse grid event and it proved to be a costly one for many. Andy was forced onto the grass early in the race and then was one of several drivers caught up in an incident when oil on the track claimed several cars. Many drivers were out on the spot but Knight managed to avoid the carnage and continued on. The race was stopped while the track was cleared and a restart took place with a much depleted field. A drivethrough penalty near the end of the race cost him time but he still crossed the line in 13th position to gain valuable points - something many others failed to do.
After coming into the round fifth in the championship points the problems in the finale dropped Andy back to sixth in the standings. However he is still very close behind two-time champion Andy Booth who regained fifth spot.
The next round of the championship will be held over the weekend of 11-13 February at Manfeild Park in Feilding.
Knight is supported in the championship by Century Batteries, Parker Stores, Milwaukee Power Tools, John Jones Steel and The Rock FM.