Former national Sprint Car champ Dean Brindle (Hamilton) is making the last lap count in 2022.
Brindle won Saturday’s Daltons Bay Piston Cup feature at Baypark Speedway, passing California’s Jonathan Allard moments after the pair raced past the white flag of the 30-lapper.
It was the second time in five weeks that Brindle has chased down Allard to win a Baypark feature race on the final lap.
Allard started from pole position and his first challenger was Christchurch racer Jamie Duff. The pair touched entering the front straight at the end of lap eight which cost Duff a little momentum and folded back part of the side panel of his top wing.
Brindle lined up second, alongside Allard, for two restarts on laps 15 and 22 and was confident he could challenge Allard.
“I felt we had a good car and good chance,” said Brindle
“Getting into turn one I had been able to get alongside him a couple of times, so I had to try that move.”
The opportunity came as the final lap began.
“There was a lapped car and he [Allard} went around and I just squeezed through on the bottom. I stayed in the bottom of the lapped cars in the last turn.
“It’s always good to get a win but it means a lot when the competition is so strong. I’m stoked for the team who work so hard on the car during the week and all the sponsors who help us,” said Brindle.
Allard said he had issues with overheated brakes in the closing laps but added Brindle had driven a great race.
“Wrong place, wrong time,” said Allard.
“We had checked out on the field before the yellow came out.
“It’s disappointing but it would have been great racing for the fans to watch.”
The next positions changed constantly with Tauranga’s Rodney Wood getting past Duff in the closing laps while national champ and fastest qualifier Michael Pickens (Auckland) was fifth but never threatened the leaders as he battled with a broken right-front shock mounting.
Sam Waddell and Chris Cowling duelled side-by-side for most of the 15-lap Super Saloon Car feature with Waddell’s outside line providing the route to victory by just 0.64secs. A close third went to Michelle McPherson, who earlier in the night had won her first race since moving into the Super Saloon ranks last summer.
Young Waihi racer Caleb Hutchins made a clean sweep of the three Youth Mini Stock races while Rotorua’s Tony Coxhead and Baypark racers Max Walton and Lee Porter each posted a Stock Car victory.