Class will always rise to the top and round two of the NZ SuperTourers endurance series at Hampton Downs over the weekend proved the point.
Kiwi driver Richard Moore and Aussie V8 Supercars pilot Tim Slade showed consistency is the key by claiming a race win, a second and a fifth to claim a narrow round victory.
"I knew the round points would be close," said Moore. "Tim and I were about to leave when we found out we had won the round and had to go back up on to the podium.
"It was a pretty good result considering how good the Smeeg guys [Simon Evans and Shane van Gisbergen] have been this weekend. I'm really happy and Tim did a stellar job."
Aucklander Evans and Van Gisbergen looked good for a clean sweep of all three races. Hot on the heels of their success in Taupo at the opening round, the pair took Saturday's race win, and looked good for race two on Sunday morning.
Disaster struck during the pit stop when Evans couldn't get the car into neutral (clutch pedal stop bolt had unwound) and stalled. During the repair the passenger door latch was broken as Van Gisbergen found out during his stint with it flapping in the breeze. After another pit stop to tape it up, Van Gisbergen could only manage eighth.
Normal service resumed in race three with the pair crossing the line to take their second win of the weekend.
"It was a real shame in race two when the smallest of parts can cause a big problem, but that's racing," said Evans. "The car's been good all weekend and the biggest thing has been saving tyres for Shane."
Van Gisbergen only had praise for the way Evans drove. "He pushed hard, which was good and gave me the car with a lot of tyre on it. It wasn't easy out there and I had to work for it [race win]," said Van Gisbergen.
Also having a good weekend were Greg Murphy and another V8 Supercars driver, Jack Perkins, leaving the track with two seconds and a third, while this year's Bathurst 1000 winning co-driver Paul Morris and Andre Heimgartner had a solid weekend with a brace of thirds and a seventh.
National V8 championship
The NZ Touring Cars series has two components to it this year. First category is for the new-generation TLX cars, which saw Nick Ross debut his Nissan Altima, and the second is for the older TL cars that are racing for the national MotorSport New Zealand title.
Former NZV8 champion Australian Jason Bargwanna won two races from Nick Ross, who managed to win race three from Bargwanna.
"I love coming back over here and racing these cars," said Bargwanna. "It's tight racing and I reckon Nick and I will be racing hard all season."
The TL class saw the return of two well-known names in New Zealand motorsport.
Multi-New Zealand and Australian champion Craig Baird wound back the clock and was behind the wheel of an all-black Team Kiwi Racing V8 again. Baird is still regarded as one of the best Porsche GT Cup car drivers there is, but these days is only a co-driver in the V8 Supercars.
He can still punt the big bangers around though, winning two of his races and finishing second in the other to Kevin Williams to lead the national championship.
Bamber wins title
The year just keeps getting better for Kiwi racer Earl Bamber. Over the weekend he collected his second international title when he wrapped up the Porsche Supercup in Austin, Texas.
The 24-year-old from Wanganui has already taken the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Supercup Rookie of the Year trophies home.
Bamber had a slender five-point lead over Kuba Giermaziak, which he extended to 13 after race one. The flying Kiwi took advantage of his front row start in race two, but realising discretion is the better part of valour Bamber let eventual winner Michael Ammermuller through and settled for second place and the championship.