Wellington Touring Car driver Brock Cooley has made a great start to the BNT NZ Touring Car Series.
Cooley raced to his debut race win in the category plus two second placings in the Speedy Signs Falcon at the opening round of the series at the Taupo Motorsport Park over the weekend and leaves Taupo second in the TL Class of the series, just 8 points off the lead.
The Wellingtonian was on the pace from the very first test session on Saturday morning when he was second fastest in the TL Class, just .216 of a second behind reigning champion Kevin Williams of Manukau City. He followed that effort with the second fastest time in qualifying on Saturday afternoon behind the vastly experienced Williams. The opening race on Saturday afternoon saw him again second to Williams to get his campaign off to a great start. “It was a good clean race and solid points early in the championship,” Cooley said after the first race of a championship that will continue until April.
Sunday was even better for the Wellington driver as he again finished second to Williams in a 12 lap race in the morning despite some action at the start of the race. “There was carnage at the start but we were lucky to bring the Speedy Signs Falcon home unscathed in second place for more good points,” said Brock as he anticipated the finale.
The final race was the icing on the cake with a superb victory after a great battle with Williams in the 20 lap reverse grid event. It was the first time Williams had been defeated in a race in the series since the first round last season. “Our goal before this round was to take second in all three races and to win one of them exceeded our expectations”, said an elated Cooley. “I have to thank my crew for their decision to put new tyres on the car for the last race. I am also indebted to everyone who has supported me over the last two years,” he said.
The Speedy Signs Falcon carries support this season from Speedy Signs and Lower Hutt based Stevens Ford & Mazda Ltd along with longtime supporters Gaskin Ford & Mazda, Macbilt Engineering, Ashton Panel & Paint, Duncan Partition Installations, BC Contracting and EmbroidMe.
This is Cooley’s third season in the TL Class of the Championship. He finished fourth in the 2013/2014 championship to secure the Rookie Of The Year title and eighth last season despite electing to miss the two South Island rounds. Prior to that Cooley was the NZGT Champion in the IRC Racing Categories.
The next round of the championship is at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland, over the weekend of 7/8 November where the BNT NZ Touring Cars support the V8 Supercars at the ITM 500.