The final round of the ENZED Central Muscle Cars is poised to be a thrilling affair with this season’s top-three drivers covered by less than 100 points heading into the winner-takes-all final at Hampton Downs to be held alongside the Australian Supercars New Zealand round scheduled for the weekend of April 24-26.
With six of the seven rounds completed the ever-consistent Dean Hansen (HQ Holden) leads Dean Perkins (Ford XD Falcon) by 75-points, with Angus Fogg (Ford Mustang) trailing Perkins by a further 23 points. Fogg claimed overall victory last time out at Manfeild, near Palmerston North, after a mixed bag of results that included a win and a second place. However, a last-lap drama in the final race - after an unexpected pit lane start - hurt Fogg’s chances of grabbing more valuable points. Fogg had charged up to third place in the final, before he was the unfortunate victim of a car spinning directly into his path, having to take avoiding action that resulted in a visit to the gravel trap, re-joining the circuit but ultimately finishing well down the order at the chequered flag.
Perkins was fast and claimed a pair of wins but fell foul of being given oil pressure/temperature warnings from his instrument panel in race two and conserving his car by slowing down to claim ninth place, only to discover the gauge was in fact giving incorrect readings and he need not have been so cautious. Furious at losing precious points Perkins dominated the final leading from lights to flag and won by a comfortable margin.
Championship leader Hansen again accumulated a swag of points while his closest adversaries struck trouble, finishing every race inside the top-five to maintain his position at the head of the leader board, and with a handy buffer heading into the all-important final round he can secure the title with three top-three results.
Competing alongside the Supercars, the Hampton Downs final is set to be a block-buster affair held in front of a record crowd for the venue, and whichever way it goes any of the three drivers in contention would go away a more than worthy victor after what has been a stellar year of on-track action.