Team GB just misses out after New Zealand battle
Team GB Racing’s Great Britain Lions finished runners-up for the second year in a row against the Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes in the New Zealand Superstock Teams Championships on Sunday night at the Robertson Holden International Speedway in Palmerston North.
The five-car BRISCA F1 Lions team – led by BRISCA F1 world champion Frankie Wainman Jr, former world champion Lee Fairhurst, John Dowson, Ben Hurdman and Bob Griffin – topped their three-team group on Saturday.
With Fairhurst winning both races the Lions faced the Gisborne Giants and fellow BRISCA F1 star Tom Harris in an eagerly-awaited semi-final on Sunday night. The Lions put in a masterclass of teams racing to demolish the Giants, with Ben Hurdman going on to win comfortably.
In a brutal 15-lap final, the Hawkeyes focused on trying to neutralise the threat of Wainman Jr from the outset, and were successful in causing enough damage to hinder his progress, badly damaging a rear wheel guard.
Despite the setback, Fairhurst took over the lead in the early stages for the Lions. Hawkes Bay managed to block Fairhurst to allow Thomas Stanaway to go to the front. The New Zealander then stretched his lead to more than a lap of the quarter-mile oval.
Wainman Jr’s badly damaged car also suffered a fuel-pump problem.
“Obviously the lads are feeling it after that,” said captain Wainman Jr. “But we have to look on the positive side. We will come back next year more determined than ever to win it.”