Twenty-five year old Auckland driver Andy Booth (NRC Racing/ Propecia - Reynard 95D) scored an upset win during this afternoon's Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy race at New Zealand's Manfield Autocourse. Under sunny skies, Booth took advantage of a...
Twenty-five year old Auckland driver Andy Booth (NRC Racing/ Propecia - Reynard 95D) scored an upset win during this afternoon's Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy race at New Zealand's Manfield Autocourse. Under sunny skies, Booth took advantage of a late pit stop by race leader Simon Wills (Birrana Racing - Reynard 94D) to go to the line 3.5s clear of LeRoy Stevenson (Birrana Racing - Reynard 94D), with standout debutante Rick Kelly (Murphy Motorsport/ M ONE 11 - Reynard 94D) close behind in third after 30 torrid laps around the 3.03 kilometre layout. Wills, who looked certain to claim his first Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy, had to pit after a brief Safety Car period to re-fasten his seat belts, which had inexplicably come undone. The high-speed nature of the circuit saw him being thrown around in the cockpit and a quick stop dropped him down the field. He recovered to finish seventh and broke his own lap record on four consecutive tours, but could do nothing about the front-runners with just nine laps of the race remaining.
Booth, who this year contested selected races in Australia driving for the Hocking Motorsport and Ralt Australia teams in the Holden Australian Drivers' Championship, and previously spent two years in the Palmer Audi class in England, scored his first ever circuit race win...and what a race to do it in. Behind the top three were Steve Owen (going much better after radical changes), Emerson Newton-John (Murphy Motorsport/ ZAP Health - Reynard 92D), Stuart Kostera (Hocking Motorsport - Reynard 98D) and the recovering Wills. Rounding out the top ten were Roger Oakeshott (Sportsmed - Reynard 97D), Mark Ellis (Mantis Racing - Reynard 92D) and Paul Dumbrell (Wynn's Racing - Reynard 93D). The latter creating the Safety Car period when he spun off while sitting in fifth on lap 20.
Overall honours for the day saw a tie for first between Wills and Kelly. Incredibly, at this time last year seventeen-year-old Kelly was still racing Go Karts. After a runner-up finish (by a scant point) in this year's Australian Formula Ford Championship, recording the most wins in the season, and now a stunning Formula Holden debut, Kelly looks certain to follow in the footsteps of older brother and Holden Racing Team ace, Todd. Although, at this stage plans are in place for regular driver Peter Hill to replace Kelly at next week's New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe. <pre> Top Ten Finishers Race 2 - Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy
Pos Driver Team Car Race Time Laps Fastest On 1 Andy Booth NRC Racing Reynard 95D 33:04.614 30 1:02.053 29 2 LeRoy Stevenson Birrana Racing Reynard 94D 33:08.192 30 1:02.341 26 3 Rick Kelly Greg Murphy Racing Reynard 95D 33:12.410 30 1:02.634 13 4 Steve Owen Hocking Motorsport Reynard 97D 33:14.101 30 1:02.870 27 5 Emerson Newton-John Greg Murphy Racing Reynard 92D 33:18.171 30 1:03.236 28 6 Stuart Kostera Hocking Motorsport Reynard 97D 33:19.628 30 1:03.454 29 7 Simon Wills Birrana Racing Reynard 94D 33:27.283 30 1:01.457 29 8 Roger Oakeshott Sportsmed Racing Reynard 98D 33:37.862 29 1:05.413 18 9 Mark Ellis Mantis Racing Reynard 92D 33:45.203 29 1:06.067 10 10 Paul Dumbrell Wynns Racing Reynard 93D 33:23.139 28 1:03.053 25
Tasman Cup Points: Wills,Kelly, 46 pts; 3. Stevenson 45pts; 4. Booth 32pts; 5. Dumbrell 31pts; Owen, Kostera 30pts; 8. Halliday 27pts; 9. Oakeshott 26pts; 10. Ellis 24pts.