Team Betta Electrical's Paul Radisich has finished fourth overall at the PlaceMakers V8 International at Pukekohe Park south of Auckland.

The round was won for the third straight year by Greg Murphy, ahead of Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly.

Championship leader Marcos Ambrose finished 11th overall after a puncture dropped him to 23rd in the event's second race of three.

Murphy's result has lifted him to within 24 point of Ambrose going into the final round of this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series, the VIP Pet Foods Main Event at Sydney's Eastern Creek over the final weekend of November.

Jason Bargwanna completed his best weekend aboard a Ford, finishing fifth overall after a solid run in today's two races.

Radisich enjoyed his best home performance in a full championship V8 round, the only drama came late in the second race when he ran off the track after battling with fellow Ford driver Steve Ellery [Super Cheap Auto Racing].

"For the Ford fans here in New Zealand and back in Australia I wish it was higher, but for our team this has been a good consistent run this weekend," said Radisich. "We came here aiming for a top 10 result, so to finish fourth and be the first Ford home is pleasing.

"My form here over the past couple of years has been far from great, so I'm pleased to get back amongst the leaders. The result is on the back of some good car speed we've shown over the second half of this year."

After finishing fourth in yesterday's opening race, Bargwanna gave it everything in today's two races.

The trade off for speed was heavy tyre wear, especially in the final race when he dropped three places in the final laps.

"That was hard work this weekend, but it got us a result," said Bargwanna. "It felt like I had marsh mellows for rear tyres over the closing laps of that final race.

"This weekend we made huge gains in the BA Falcon and going forward things look very strong."

Ambrose described his weekend as one of the toughest of the season.

"A tough weekend and not even close to the result we wanted," said Ambrose. "We had the car speed when given a chance, but things didn't fall our way and it certainly worked out for our rivals.

"We still have a points break and we'll gather things up for Eastern Creek. Last time we went to the Creek we won, and Ford swept the podium with Craig Lowndes [CAT Ford Performance Racing] and my teammate Russell Ingall [Caltex Havoline Racing].

"We want to make that a big weekend for Ford and we would like to see as many Blue Oval fans as possible come out and be part of the championship chase."

The VIP Pet Foods Main Event (28-30 November) will feature a 150km race on Saturday and a 250km finale to the season on the Sunday.

 

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