Plenty of hard work by Auckland sprintcar driver Daniel Eggleton and his pit crew paid off when he won the Avon Insurance Brokers New Zealand Grand Prix at in trying conditions at City South Van Spares Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening, from local Jamie Duff and Dean Brindle (Auckland). Eggleton's motor developed problems on Thursday meeting at Ruapuna so the team arranged to a spare engine to be flown down to Christchurch on Friday and installed in time to won the national event.
Eggleton finished fourth in his opening heat, won by Jamie Larsen (Kapiti Coast) before taking out the chequered flag in his next heat after moving to the lead on the opening lap going on to win by a clear margin with a real battle for second and third between Skinny Colson (Tauranga) and Wellington Stephen Taylor over the closing laps with the two swapping placing several times before Colson claimed second place. Auckland's Jamie McDonald took out the other heat along with an earlier third place went into the GP Feature as the top points scorer and elected to start on the outside row of the front row alongside Eggleton.
Due the scorching temperatures and winds the track had €˜slicked' off when plenty of rubber laid down on the racing surface for the latter part of the meeting when meant throttle and brake control was going to be vital with tyre wear and even fuel a factor over the 30 lap distant. McDonald was the first to come unstuck after leading to the first lap almost spun on the next lap but was straighten up by a rival which damaged a radius rod on McDonald's car forcing him to retire.
This left Eggleton in front from Colson and local Ray Baughan with interest mid-pack and near the end of the field as the likes of Larsen, Duff, Taylor and Brindle started to move through what was and 18 car field. The leaders were lapping slower cars by lap ten with Larsen and then Duff passing Baughan on the same lap, with Eggleton in control from Colson before another caution light closed the field up.
In the restart Colson was clipped by a rival causing Colson to redraw with a flat tyre. On the green Eggleton again jumped out to a good lead with Larsen and Duff locked together with a further gap to the rest of the field. Eggleton started to lap some of the field for a second time by lap 20. Another caution saw Duff tagged by Taylor on the Town bend cause Duff to spin but he was restarted in his third position. Late in the race tyre ware forced several other retirement with Taylor forced out with a lack of fuel which allowed Brindle to move into third place behind Eggleton and Duff with two lap to run, Allan Chapman was fourth overall from Greymouth's Steve Thompson and Nelson Kris Gerard, with the other twelve cars falling to finish the race.
In other classes Jeremy Webb continued to dominate in his TQ, with yet other Feature win along with a win and a second in the heats. Glenn Everett and Glen Durie claim a heat win in the midget class, as did Grant Harkness and Kris Jemmett in the Six Shooters with Brad Clive claiming his first wins of the season the in the 1/4 class which included the Feature.
Race Results - Competitors from Christchurch Unless Stated
Avon Insurance Brokers New Zealand Grant Prix
Ht 1. Jamie Larsen (Kapiti Coast) 1, Ray Baughan 2, Jamie McDonald (Auckland) 3.
Ht 2. McDonald 1, Jamie Duff 2, Skinny Colson (Tauranga) 3.
Ht 3. Daniel Eggleton (Auck) 1, Colson 2, Stephen Taylor (Wellington)
GP Feature. Eggleton 1, Duff 2, Brindle 3, Allan Chapman 4, Steve Thompson (Greymouth) 5, Kris Gerald (Nelson) 6.
Ht 1. Glenn Everett 1, Nick Marquet (Nelson) 2, Blair Low 3.
Ht 2. Glen Durie 1, Gavin Wilkie (Dunedin) 2, Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 3
Three Quarter Midgets
Ht 1. Jeremy Webb 1, Lindsay Bailey, Kyle Glover 3.
Ht 2. Shane Phillips (Auckland) 1, Ben Gilmore 2, Kimberley Yeatman 3.
Ht 3. Daniel McKinlay 1, Webb 2, Mark Morris 3.
Ht 4. Matt Leversedge 1, Scott Bailey 2, Gareth Nixon 3.
Feature. Webb 1, Phillips 2, Gilmore 3.
Ht 1. Tom Lumsden 1, Ben Gilmore 2, Allan Daly 3.
Ht 1. Kris Jemmett 1, Peter Keith 2, Jason Manson 3.
Ht 2. Grant Harkness 1, Mason 2, Peter Keith 3.
Ht 1. Brad Clive 1, Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 2, Jack Low 3.
Ht 2. Montana Jamieson 1, Bradley 2, Clive 3.
Feature. Clive 1, Bradley 2, Jamieson 3.