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Race And Series Win for SMEG Racing at Pukekohe Park

Race And Series Win for SMEG Racing at Pukekohe Park

Simon Evans and Gene Rollinson emerged from a stop-start race peppered with safety car periods and race stoppages to take the final round of the ENEOS North Island Endurance series at Pukekohe on Sunday, and with it the North Island title for 2017.

Rollinson started the car and led throughout the first one hour and fifty minutes of the race, but was unable to build a significant lead because of continual Safety car periods caused by incidents and mechanical failures elsewhere in the field. He brought the car in with just over an hour to go, handing over to Evans who emerged in second behind title rivals Fillmore and Stutterd, racing a BMW M6 this weekend in preference to their usual Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari.

The BMW made its pit stop a little earlier during another Safety Car period, and gained a chunk of time as a result, but it was unable to hold off a charging Evans, who was on newer tyres and caught and passed the BMW within a handful of laps, racing away to win by over ten seconds. Nick Chester and Cameron Jones - also on new tyres in their Holden 'Hypercar' - also caught and passed the Stutterd/Fillmore BMW to take second in the race.

A win at the first round at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo, second at Round 2 at Hampton Downs and the win at the Pukekohe finale were enough to give the reigning national champions the North Island title, and both were delighted with the result.

"It's a great result for the SMEG Racing Racer Products Audi GT3," said a stoked Rollinson. "It felt like the Safety Car led more laps that I did in the first half, but we just about managed to get a comfortable gap every time. The car felt good considering we hadn't turned a wheel in the dry around Puke before. I pushed a bit harder towards the end of my stint to get a gap, pitted and then Simon brought her home."

Evans added: "It's really been a tough series, and it has been nip and tuck between the teams and the drivers so we are delighted to come out on top. SMEG Racing is really a total team effort so a lot of credit for the race and series win should go to our engineers and crew."


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