NZ V8: Powerbuilt Racing Pekekohe preview

YOULDEN AND POWERBUILT RACING READY FOR NZV8s FINALE Australian Luke Youlden and the Powerbuilt Racing Team return to Pukekohe Park, south of Auckland this weekend, keen to make a strong impression at the seventh and final round of the...

YOULDEN AND POWERBUILT RACING READY FOR NZV8s FINALE

Australian Luke Youlden and the Powerbuilt Racing Team return to Pukekohe Park, south of Auckland this weekend, keen to make a strong impression at the seventh and final round of the 2006/2007 NZV8s Championship.

This is the series second visit to Pukekohe this season after the championship began at the South Auckland circuit early in November. The NZV8s will feature on the same programme as the Australian V8 Supercars this weekend, a series in which Youlden has appeared several times, most recently as an endurance driver for the highly regarded Stone Brothers Racing Team.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Youlden from his Melbourne base today. "I would desperately love to win in front of the V8 Supercar crews. We're well overdue for a round win. We have had the pace all year but not the reliability or luck at times," he said. "We had a good test in the Powerbuilt Falcon last Friday where we reaffirmed that we have taken the correct approach throughout the season." Looking back at the last round the Australian say's, "the engine misfire gremlins we had at Teretonga that cost us 30 horsepower have been overcome and we will be back on an even keel at Pukekohe."

The opening round of the championship at Pukekohe was a fairly good one for Youlden and the Powerbuilt Racing Team. Youlden drove the Powerbuilt Falcon to a pair of third places in the opening two races of the weekend. The final race was the first of the reverse grid races introduced to the series this year. As he progressed through the field Youlden was clipped by a car that had spun across the track. The contact caused some bodywork to come loose on the Powerbuilt Falcon and Youlden was forced to pit to repair the damage. He resumed to finish in 18th place. Despite that setback he still finished 4th overall for the round just one point behind Angus Fogg who claimed the final podium spot. "It was a good round early on but that crash cost us a podium position," recalls Youlden. "We are hoping for better this time!"

Youlden and his fellow NZV8s competitors will receive a 25 minute test session on Friday morning at 11.05am followed by official qualifying at 5.10pm that afternoon. The first of the weekend's three races will take place at 2.25pm on Saturday over 12 laps of the 2.84 kilometre circuit.

On Sunday morning at 10.25am the second race of the weekend over 16 laps is scheduled to begin with the final race of the championship, a 20 lap reverse grid event, timed to start at 4.25pm.

Last year the corresponding meeting drew a record crowd of 103,426 people through the gates over the three days including a final day crowd of 42,830.

-credit: pbt

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Series GENERAL