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The Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series have served up another fantastic race as they fought out the opening race of Round 2 of their National Championship and the final round of their South Island Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell today.


After ten action packed laps it was Chris White of Prebbleton who prevailed, but it was a tough race with action galore over the final laps.


White had qualified fastest earlier in the day with young Timaru driver Will Kitching second ahead of Stiaan Kriel of Auckland and reigning National Champion Simon Baker of Wellington.


At the start it was Kriel who burst through from the second row to snatch the lead from White, Kitching, Baker and Sam Dashfield of Auckland.


Kriel continued to lead but White was putting him under intense pressure. Kriel made an error through the “bus stop’ on lap four but held onto the lead, the order staying quite stable until the eighth lap of the contest when White got alongside Kriel. The duo went door to door for several corners before White got in front only to snap sideways on the exit of a corner, dropping him to fourth behind Kriel, Kitching and Baker.


The action wasn’t over however and on the next lap Kriel glanced a wall after a rear toe arm broke on his car.


Kitching now led as Kriel pulled off the track with White back in second and Baker third.


Kitching led into the final lap only to go too deep into a corner losing the lead to White. Later in the lap Kitching slowed with a gearbox failure letting Baker and Dashfield through and that is how they finished – White, Baker, Dashfield and Kitching. Ben McConochie of Christchurch was fifth followed by Matt Horne of Masterton with Matt Dodd of Christchurch next with Aucklanders Leo Bult, Karl Gaines and Warren Crowther completing the top ten.    


Sam Wallace of Christchurch acquitted himself well on debut in the series qualifying ninth and finishing twelfth in the race.


Ken Thompson of Dunedin took the Historic Class honours again in his Series 1 RX7.

Tomorrow competitors face a 12-lap reverse top ten contest at 8.49am with Crowther on pole followed by a 10-lap finale at 12.48pm.


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