Ruggier secures Championship lead after stellar weekend at Wakefield
Eggleston Motorsport driver Justin Ruggier entered the penultimate round of the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series at Wakefield Park with a 3 point deficit to his rival Ryan Simpson, and has emerged with a 44 point lead after a brilliant weekend of racing.
Ruggier was on pace from the outset and was fastest in every official session, replicating the form of his championship winning stable mate Dumbrell at the previous round of the Dunlop Series.
Ruggier scored his first ever pole position in the category with a time that was .300 of a second faster than Simpson. Pole position also carries a 3 point reward which levelled the playing field heading into Race 1.
Ruggier got the jump over Simpson and was never headed race long, scoring his second race win of the season, but his first victory in a head to head battle with Simpson.
Race 2 was not all Ruggiers way as Simpson got a blinder off the line and lead the race for the opening 6 laps, albeit with a pacey Ruggier on his rear bumper. Ruggier made a very impressive and clean move under brakes on lap 7 at the second last turn. He pulled a comfortable gap on Simpson to take the flag for his third consecutive win.
The final race was an extra 6 laps in length and tyre life was always going to play a part. Ruggier won the drag off the line and led Simpson for the opening lap, however the game changed at turn 1 on lap 2 when Simpson locked brakes and lost control of his car, collecting Ruggiers right rear corner and turning both cars around. Ruggier rejoined the race in last position and some 15 seconds down on the leaders. Simpson was forced to pit for damage and went 2 laps down. Ruggier was determined to make up as many points as possible in attempt to still collect the round win. He managed to get to an impressive 3rd position by the end of the 22nd lap, claiming the round win in the process.
The 34 point gap heading into the final round was extended to 44 after Simpson was penalised 10 points for his mistake at turn 1.
With the title within grasp in only his inaugural year, Ruggier and Eggleston Motorsport are determined to secure the series win at the final round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park on October 31- Nov 2.