It was action aplenty in the opening race of the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars at Newcastle where Joel Heinrich reigned supreme following an intense fight with reigning series winner Josh Anderson.
A thrilling battle between CoolDrive Racing’s Anderson and Heinrich in the Osborn’s Transport entry highlighted the early part of the race as the40-car field entered Turn 1 four or five wide.
Anderson held the advantage only just from Heinrich and a racy Lachlan Ward as a gap began to grow to the MTA NSW Mustang of Kody Garland and the lead Western Sydney Motorsport entry of Craig Woods.
The second CoolDrive Racing Mustang of Reece Chapman was the big mover early to sixth, as after a marriage proposal via race car sticker (of course the answer was yes!) Cody McKay was one of many to either run wide or spin at the Newcastle hairpin.
Making a break from Ward, the battle was on for the lead between Anderson and Heinrich, while Chapman continued his progress through the field passing Woods for fifth. Further aiding his charge was a tangle between Garland and Ward promoting Chapman to third.
Heinrich was challenging Anderson and succeeded in taking the lead at the hairpin on lap 3 before a safety car was required following a mechanical malady for Matt Gooding in the PCA/MGR Chevrolet Camaro at Turn 2dropped fluid.
This closed the field up as the lead duo had built a significant gap back to the chasing pack led by Chapman.
The race restarted on lap 8, with Heinrich making the perfect jump as Woods made it three wide into Turn 1 alongside the CoolDrive Racing pair. The battle lasted for nearly a lap until a superb move under brakes by Woods elevated him to second as Chapman also passed Anderson to be third.
A spin for Keith Bensley in the ASAP Marketing Toyota Aurion and trouble for McKay again at the hairpin ensured the opening race finished early.
Behind Heinrich, Woods, Chapman and Anderson was Rookie Cup winner Rylan Gray, while Masters Cup victor Kent Quinn in the Norganic Proteins Mustang was sixth outright.
Behind Quinn in Masters Cup, Troy Jones for Motorsport25 was second and Western Sydney Motorsport's Grant Thompson.
Craig Thompson was first in Gold Cup ahead of Fight MND's Jeff Watters and Leslie Corish.
The next race for the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars on the streets of Newcastle is at 1:15pm AEDT.