THERE were hugs, high-fives and a huge smile on the face of Harry Inwood as well on Saturday afternoon as he iced a brilliant Mount Panorama racing debut.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The 24-year-old Bathurst driver claimed the chequered flag in the third and final race of the Australian Pulsar Racing Association round at the Mount.
Though it was a non-championship event, Inwood could not have been happier with how it finished.
"It's just awesome, I reckon it doesn't matter if it's in a V8 Supercar or in a Pulsar, winning at Bathurst is still winning at Bathurst isn't it?" he said.
"Mum and Dad were here, home town too. It's an awesome atmosphere, a lot of mates came down to watch as well."
While Inwood had previously participated in Challenge Bathurst, being part of the Bathurst 6 Hour program was his racing debut on his home circuit.
It was also the debut of the Pulsar series at Bathurst.
On Friday Inwood was fastest in both practice sessions then topped qualifying to claim pole position for race one.
He placed second in that opening four-lap race on Saturday behind Josh Craig and in race two while crossing the finish line behind Craig, was later promoted to victor after his rival was handed a 20-seconds penalty.
But being declared winner after a race is not the same feeling as claiming the chequered flag, so when Inwood lined up in the #43 A1 Towing Nissan Pulsar for race three he had a clear goal in mind.
"I knew had to go, I knew I had to win that last race," he said.
He went from pole and was first into Hell Corner, but using the advantage of side-drafting Jamie Craig managed to snatch the lead.
However, the Bathurst driver had his lead back by the end of lap one then on lap two, Damon Schofield went into the wall at The Cutting to trigger a safety car.
By the time the safety car pulled off the track there was enough time left for two flying laps.
The restart was in the hands of Inwood and he nailed it.
With defending series champion Tim Colombrita and Josh Craig battling for second behind him, it allowed Inwood to open up a margin of 1.649 seconds heading into the fifth and final lap.
Inwood then peeled off the fastest lap of the race - a 2:41.9215 - to ensure he stayed in the lead and got that chequered flag he was so hungry for.
"Being on pole, I didn't have the best start for that race - I have to work on that - I fell back to second but I took my opportunity down the chute to pass for first," Inwood said.
"After that it was a safety car so it was really crucial I took that opportunity and did it, otherwise I don't think I would've been on the top step.
"I knew I'd get a good restart, so I was not really nervous for that restart, no. After that the mirror was down and I wasn't looking back, I just had to finish the laps."
The next round of the NSW series will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park in June.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.