Andre Heimgartner has won the opening race of the BNT V8s at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna on Saturday.
Qualifying his Richards Team Motorsport Toyota Camry in pole position, Heimgartner lost the lead on the first lap going off at the first corner, handing it to his teammate Jason Bargwanna. Heimgartner re-joining the field in last position.
"We had new front brake pads in the car, and it bit a lot harder than I would have thought, so that was bit of an eye opener!" said Heimgartner.
From there Heimgartner began clawing his way back through the field.
A safety car was called with five laps to go to retrieve the stricken Holden of Matt Tubbs, which found the sand trap at the end of the front straight.
On the restart, Heimgartner pounced taking the lead from Bargwanna.
"On the restart I managed to stay with Jason, and put it down the inside through turn one, we made a bit of light contact, we both lost mirrors but we both came through ok."
"The car seems pretty pacey, we'll come back tomorrow and see what we can do for the last two races."
The class one podium was rounded out by Jason Bargwanna with Nick Ross in third.
The third place for Ross was a good result for the Nissan Altima driver, earlier in the race he was pushed off by Australian driver Jack Smith, who was served with a drive through penalty.
Class two was won by Chelsea Herbert, who starting from second place on the grid managed to slip by pole position holder and championship leader Liam MacDonald.
Herbert claiming her second career V8 win in as many rounds aboard her MTF Ford Falcon.
"I had a really good start and got through at turn one. He was fighting back through the next corners, letting me know he was there, but was good to hold on," said Herbert.
"I turned a blind eye to my rear vision mirror, not to distract myself from what was going on behind me, I was just focusing in front."
From there, Herbert controlled the pace of the class two battle going on to win with MacDonald in second and Justin Ashwell finishing in third place.