A WORCESTERSHIRE driver was in a five-man Great Britain Lions team as they finished runners-up for the second year in a row against Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes in the New Zealand Superstock Teams Championships.

Inkberrow’s BriSCA F1 stock car driver Ben Hurdman was involved with the finalists who had only been together as a team for one event the weekend before but then beat opposition in their own backyard that compete regularly.

Bidding to become the first overseas team to win the title at Robertson Holden International Speedway, Palmerston North, the five-car BriSCA F1 Lions team, also involving captain and world champion Frankie Wainman junior, Lee Fairhurst, John Dowson and Bob Griffin, topped their three-team group.

With Fairhurst winning both races Lions faced Gisborne Giants and fellow BriSCA F1 star Tom Harris in the semi-final.

Lions put in a masterclass of teams racing to demolish Giants with Hurdman winning comfortably after main Gisborne threat Peter Rees was forced to pull off with excess damage to his car late on.

“We were the underdogs against Gisborne and smashed them out of the stadium,” said Hurdman. “We pulled together well as a team.”

Hawkeyes beat championship favourites Palmerston North Panthers in their semi-final.

In a brutal 15-lap final, Hawkeyes focused on trying to neutralise the threat of Wainman junior and did enough to hinder his progress, badly damaging a rear wheel guard.

Despite the setback, Fairhurst took the lead in the early stages.

With hits flying in from all round the track Hawkes Bay locked Fairhurst to allow Thomas Stanaway to go to the front.

The New Zealander stretched his lead to more than a lap of the quarter-mile oval.

The writing was on the wall for Lions when Wainman junior’s badly-damaged car also suffered a fuel pump problem in the closing stages.

The only hope for Team GB in the winner-takes-all event was if Fairhurst could catch the runaway leader.

But victory was all but lost when the Bolton driver was pinned up against the wall with two laps to go by Hawkeyes’ Jason Long.

The red flags came out and on the restart, despite a valiant effort from Hurdman and Griffin who were way down on laps, Hawkeyes took the flag and the championship for a second successive year.

“They got the upper hand early on,” said Hurdman. “And once you lose a car it’s an uphill struggle.”

Wainman junior won the Warrior of the Weekend award for the most entertaining driver of the two-day meeting.