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Spectacular Race Action As Bmws Hit Tasman Revival

Spectacular Race Action As Bmws Hit Tasman Revival At Pukekohe

The biggest one-marque race championship in New Zealand motor racing hit Pukekohe this weekend for the Tasman revival race meeting.

With one category so popular that its grids have to be split into two separate races, the Castrol BMW Race Driver Series has grown from humble beginnings to unparalleled success. In the Tasman Revival two-day race event at Pukekohe there were spins galore, though none serious enough to knock cars out of competition.

Saturday’s sporadic rain showers wet a track that has baked in 30 degree sunshine for weeks, significantly reducing grip on Pukekohe’s high speed straights and challenging corners. Sunday saw fine weather but high winds.

The spectacular Open category class A was a fightback battle at Pukekohe between class points leader Michael Mosen in his crowd-pleasing E46-model M3 GTR V8 and Paraparaumu racer Aaron Harris in his highly-developed E36 3.0-litre M3 coupe.

Going into this round Mosen had a clear class lead on 2306 points; Harris had won the class at the first two rounds of the series but missed Taupo due to overseas driving commitments, leaving him trailing Mosen on 1210 points. A clean sweep of race wins for Harris goes some way to redressing the situation as he romped away from the newer V8 car in his six cylinder model and set fastest laps of 1:11.302, 1:10.467 and 1:10.436.

In Open class B, a battle at the previous round between Nick Gladiadis in a Z3 M Coupe and Ian Davidson in an E36 M3 coupe saw Gladiadis emerge in the points lead. At Pukekohe though, the battle swung to become one between Gladiadis, Davidson, and E36 M3 drivers Graeme Fraser and Bob Sievwright.

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Davidson won the first race, Sievwright the second before Davidson bounced back to win class B in the third race.

In the 2.0-litre class Howard Wood in his ‘group 2’ replica BMW 2002 has been the fancied runner through the previous rounds, but in the first race at round four Wood’s dominance had been challenged by Marty Seddon in the wide body replica GTR E30 and Graeme Ball in his E36.

Pukekohe saw Wood take the first race and fastest lap, a 1:21.4; the wins on the second day both went to Graham Ball along with a fastest lap in the first Sunday race of 1:18.017. Ashley Blewett took three second placings and was fastest in the third race on 1:18.567. Sunday’s races were substantially faster due to the fine conditions, though high winds put class lap records largely out of reach.

Wood said afterward he was “driving the wheels off the car”.

“The 2002 just hasn’t got any more to give, the newer cars are getting closer and closer.”

In the popular E30 class Marty Irvine has been totally dominant in group one throughout the series but his rivals are closing the gap. John Thomson, who has chased Irvine all series, was off the pace with several lurid half-spins in the first race which Irvine won by more than nine seconds, setting fastest lap in the gentle drizzle of Saturday afternoon with a 1:23.969. In Sunday’s reverse grid race Alex Sherie took the win, Irvine managing to carve through the 21-strong grid to ninth overall and setting fastest lap of 1:24.459. Then in the final race for group one in the E30s, Irvine was once more in control, winning and posting a fastest lap of 1:23.525 ahead of Philip Smurthwaite.

Phil Smurthwaite took the win in the first E30 group 2 race with second-placed Daniel Rollason posting fastest time of 1:33.6. The second race, run to a reverse grid, was won by Tony Valder, with John Thompson taking fastest lap of 1:24727. The final race was won by Laurie Griffin, with Thomson once again fastest on 1:24.492.

The final round of the 2013-014 series will be held at Hampton Downs race track in the north Waikato, March 29 and 30.


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