Being knocked out of contention in the opening race at Manfeild Park at the weekend has not hurt Cambridge driver Nick Ross as he maintains status quo in the BNT V8s Championship before entering the final round next month.
Continuing to sit sixth in the series is a marked improvement on last season's ninth place and well within reach of the team's goal of finishing fifth this year. Also Ross and the Total Lubricants Commodore are the highest placed Holden of the BNT V8s Championship.
A sizeable punt from behind in race one spun Ross out on to the grass at the infamous Manfeild Park hairpin leaving him to recover into last place. It happened while he jostled for position with Simon Richards ahead of him.
Rejoining the feild a couple of cars bringing up the rear caught and clipped Ross causing terminal damage to the race car's left hand hub and steering arm which resulted in his retirement in the opening race.
"I was boxed in at the start of the race and was trying to get by Simon (Richards) then Haydn (McKenzie) got me unfortunately. Then two backmarkers caught up while I was gathering speed and one of them clipped me which damaged the hub and I had to pit the car." said Ross.
Forced to start from the rear of the grid in the next race due to his previous retirement Ross made a heated start off the line gaining good ground over several cars and finding himself in fifth place behind fellow Holden driver Andrew Anderson and Simon Evans in a Ford.
"They were battling quite hard so I was hoping they might tangle and I could pick up a couple of positions. That didn't happen and after a while my rear tyres started to go off but I was able to hold fifth place until the finish line." he said.
The third and final race of the meeting and Ross got away well once more from a challenging 13th place on the grid still hindered by his earlier DNF but was gaining ground and soon challenging Simon Richards once more for position.
"I got up to seventh and was beside Simon going around Higgins when I lost second gear. I managed to circulate and hold on to eighth place which was good going because we use second a lot around Manfeild." he said.
The Concept Motorsport pit crew's extremely slick pitstop at 17 seconds helped Ross to stay in a creditable position of eighth scoring valuable points to keep within sight of their overall season's goal.
The car was competitive over the weekend with Ross setting the eighth fastest lap in qualifying and later on with new tyres finding half a second were able to improve to seventh in the Top 10 Shootout.
"Thanks to the boys for their lightning pitstop in that final race and a big thanks to GT Oils who are the Total Lubricants distributors down in the Manawatu for their corporate hospitality and grid girls for the weekend."
The final round of the season takes place at the Taupo Motorsport Park over the weekend 9-11th of March. It is expected to be an exciting wind up of yet another exciting season of Motorsport New Zealand's Premier Championship Series where the BNT V8s are the headline formula.
Currently Nick Ross is placed sixth in the series standings on 645 points just 60 behind Hamilton drivers Simon Richards and Martin Short who are tied together on 705.
With 225 points available from the weekend's three races at Taupo next month there is everything to play for as Ross enters the ultimate round where he aims to achieve his goal of fifth place at the season's end.