The ever-popular Central Muscle Cars kicked-off their 2019/20 season in style as the major support act for the Supercars at Pukekohe in mid-September, with the bumper entry of 25-cars all adorning ENZED windscreen banners as part of a continuation of ENZED’s naming rights association with New Zealand’s favourite racing category.
In what was a wild weekend of racing that included rain, reverse grid racing and the usual grid and race order starts, Dean Perkins emerged as an unlikely outright winner of the weekend in Group 1 after missing qualifying altogether when he lunched an engine in early practice, which necessitated a rear of grid start for the bright red XD Falcon in the first encounter.
Perkins quickly set his weekend up with a stunning drive from last to second in the opening event, which saw Angus Fogg claim honours from pole position, before going on to record third in race two and ninth in race three. Perkins then took out the honours in the final setting a new lap record in the process, leaving the mark at a mind-blowing 65.5s, faster by just over one second than Fogg’s impressive pole time of 66.6s.
During a weekend that witnessed four different winners from the four races contested, Fogg won from pole to kick things off with Perkins hot on his heels having charged through the pack in just 10-laps. Clarke Hopkins then went on to claim victory in the second affair in his Torana A9X Hatchback, while Greg Holden claimed an impressive race three victory in his Ford Falcon.
In Group 2 the action was no less intense and at weekend’s end Shane Holland (Chev Camaro) secured overall honours ahead of Steve Noyer (Ford Mustang) and Andrew Sinclair (Holden VK Commodore).
At the completion of the first of six eagerly anticipated rounds Perkins holds sway at the top of the points table on 192 points, just two ahead of the consistent Dean Hansen (Holden HQ) with Fogg and Hopkins tied on 187 each and well and truly in title contention. Group 2 sees Holland three points clear of Noyer with Sinclair a further two adrift.
The next round of the ENZED Central Muscle Cars will take place at the Manfeild Circuit, near Palmerston North on October 18-20, before the category returns to the high-speed Pukekohe Park Circuit for Round 3 on November 29-30.