BOLTON stock car racer Lee Fairhurst helped Great Britain to second place in the New Zealand Superstock Teams Championships.

Having only raced as a team in one event the previous weekend, it was a remarkable achievement for the British Lions to qualify for the final, beating teams who compete in this form of racing on a regular basis in their own backyard.

Bidding to become the first overseas team to win the title, the five-car BriSCA Formula One Lions team – led by captain and BriSCA Formula One world champion Frankie Wainman Jnr, former BriSCA Formula One world champion Fairhurst, John Dowson, Ben Hurdman and Bob Griffin – topped their three-team group on the first of the two-day event before losing to the Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes the following night at the Robertson Holden International Speedway in Palmerston North.

Harwood's Fairhurst won his two races on the Saturday before the Lions beat the Gisborne Giants in Sunday's semi-final to set up a clash with the Hawkeyes, who beat championship favourites Palmerston North Panthers in their semi-final.

In a brutal 15-lap final, the Hawkeyes focused on trying to neutralise the threat of Wainman Jnr from the outset, and were successful in causing enough damage to hinder his progress, badly damaging a rear wheel guard.

Despite the setback, Fairhurst took over the lead in the early stages for the Lions before being blocked and losing the lead.

When Wainman Jnr’s badly damaged car also suffered a fuel-pump problem in the closing stages the only hope of a Team GB victory was if Fairhurst could catch the runaway leader.

However, victory was lost when the Bolton driver was pinned up against the wall with two laps to go.

Fairhurst said: “We’ve come a long way since our first team race at Auckland last weekend and we all should be really proud to get into the final.

“I have no doubt we will come back even better next year.”