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Williams takes another ASKO One Hour Series race win

Williams takes another ASKO One Hour Series race win

Grant Williams of Christchurch made it two from two in the ASKO 1 Hour Race Series on Saturday as he powered to a win in his Mazda RX7 V8 at Powerbuilt Ruapuna in Christchurch.

Williams had won the opening round at Teretonga two weeks previously with co-driver Brent Buist but this week Williams drove the race with Roger Townshend as Buist had commitments at Rally Wairarapa.

The Porsche GT3 of fellow Christchurch driver Hayden Knighton was on pole but Williams took the lead on the opening lap from the Porsche of yet another local driver, George McFarlane, and Knighton. The trio was very close over the opening laps while Chris Henderson of Dunedin in his Toyota AE86 V8, Danny Whiting of Christchurch in another Porsche, the Phil Hood GT3 and Mike Driver of Timaru in a Seat Leon Supercopa settled in behind them.

McFarlane seized the lead at the seventeen minute mark only to slow drastically almost immediately, handing the lead back to Williams. The McFarlane Porsche had suffered a broken axle and it limped back to the pits and retirement. McFarlane had already swapped cars, stepping into the faster GT3 Cup R Porsche for the race after his 997 suffered engine problems on Friday.

Knighton pitted from second place soon after while Williams made his stop at the mid-point of the race. When the order settled Williams had a 14 second lead over Knighton. Henderson had his rapid Toyota in third from Cambridge driver Tony Head (Toyota Altezza turbo) with Hood, Driver, and the Corvette of Brian Scott (Dunedin), which had been excluded from qualifying for passing under yellow flags, next.

Head dropped a few positions after a late pit stop while Williams lapped third placed Henderson with just over 5 minutes remaining.

The action didn’t end there as Mike Driver’s Seat pulled over and caught fire just minutes from the end.

Williiams won by 17.8 seconds from Knighton with Henderson, Whiting and Hood next a lap down and Head sixth, a further lap behind.

Williams took the GT Class honours by virtue of his win from Knighton and Whiting.

Chris Henderson took Class 1 (3501cc and above) in the Toyota ahead of Tony Head and the Hamish Frew/Darryl Barrett (Christchurch) Mazda RX7 Turbo which finished ninth.

The BMW E36 M3’s of Christchurch drivers Chris White and Anthony Tucker took the top two placings in Class 2 (2001cc-3500cc) after finishing seventh and eighth overall respectively. Third was the class winner from the opening round, Hamish Ellingham of Napier in his Mitsubishi EVO 9, who crossed the line tenth overall.

Class 3&4 (0-2000cc) was won by Invercargill driver Jeremy Dawson, a former One Hour Series Champion, in his Toyota Starlet ahead of Bradley Dawson of Invercargill (Toyota Trueno) and
Grant Aitken (Queenstown) in his Toyota 86.

The next stop for the ASKO One Hour Race Series is Timaru’s Levels Raceway on Saturday 19th October. The Grand Finale of the series will be held at the first ever race meeting at the magnificent Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell on Saturday 9th November, where a new Series Champion will be crowned. Thanks to Series sponsor ASKO Appliances as well as class sponsors Mobil 1, Southern Finance Ltd, Paul Kelly Motor Company & Hagley Aluminium the ASKO Series will again have the richest prize money pool in NZ Motorsport, with One Hour competitors in for a share of $30,000 - that will be paid out as prize money for 2013, as well as major spot prizes up for grabs to a competitors in either the one hour or three hour Series..

For more information, or to be added to the South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club’s e-mailing list, please contact Chris Dunn via e-mail at sierdc@xtra.co.nz  Club information and live race updates can also be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/sierdc, and for more information on the series sponsor ASKO, please visit www.asko.co.nz.

Ends

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