Hedge wins fierce CareVets battle for Race 2 win
Callum Hedge emerged as race winner in the second Toyota 86 Championship race of the weekend at Pukekohe Park after a fierce battle with team mate Arran Crighton.
The two dominated the race and the lead changed several times between them until the final lap when Crighton out braked himself at the hairpin defending his lead and exited onto the grass, allowing his team mate through to his second win of the series.
"It was pretty good,” said Hedge. “I managed to pass Arran after an average start and hold him off for a bit before he pulled the same move on me and got past. We raced hard and unfortunately he fell off at that last hairpin."
With grid positions based on the drivers' second fastest times from qualifying, the grid line up saw Hedge on pole position and Crighton alongside and it was Crighton who made the better getaway, leading the tight field through Turn 1 and the complex and off down the back straight on the first lap.
Second row starters Peter Vodanovich in the CMC Markets car and Kaleb Ngatoa in the JJ Wallers car could do nothing about the lead two and settled in to third and fourth. One man on the move was round one winner Connor Adam, fighting back from a challenging qualifying session and gradually driving himself into the picture in the Post Haste car.
After a frenetic race it was a relieved Hedge who took the chequered flag, with Vodanovich second after a solid drive. Connor Adam took an impressive third, with Saturday winner Jaden Ransley maintaining great form in fourth in the Miles Toyota/Kitchen Studio car. Ngatoa took fifth, while Crighton recovered from his last lap off to take a disappointed sixth.
Brock Gilchrist put in another solid drive for seventh in the Nexus backed car, while Jordan Baldwin fought back to eighth in the Intermach Toyota 86 after a mid-race spin. Youngest driver in the field Connor Davison took ninth in the Hampton Downs/Highlands Park car after surviving late race contact with Campbell Stewart while Sam Wright took the last of the top ten spots in his Tony Richards Toyota/Premier supported machine.
Toyota 86 Championship - Round 2 Race 2 Result
1. Callum Hedge - CareVets NZ Ltd
2. Peter Vodanovich - CMC Markets/MacClure's ITM
3. Connor Adam - Post Haste/Weigh Northland
4. Jaden Ransley - Miles Toyota/Kitchen Studio
5. Kaleb Ngatoa - JJ Wallers/Capture Signs
6. Arran Crighton - CareVets NZ Ltd
7. Brock Gilchrist - Nexus/Giltrap Group
8. Jordan Baldwin - Intermach NZ/Carters
9. Connor Davison - Hampton Downs/Highlands Park
10. Sam Wright - Tony Richards Toyota/Premier
11. Jacob Cranston - Best Bars/Vista Lite
12. Justin Allen - Battery Town/Thunder Adventure
13. Campbell Stewart - NZPGS/Hydraulink
14. Leo Bult - North Shore Toyota
15. Tony Austin - Genweld
DNF Mitch Hughes- Gilpin Cartage Contractors