V8S

NZ Utes: Beirne Christchurch race 2 report

HOMETOWN PODIUM FOR JUNIOR BURNER Team McDonald's Falcon driver Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne enjoyed a magic weekend on his home circuit during Round 2 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at the weekend. Junior arrived at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway...

HOMETOWN PODIUM FOR JUNIOR BURNER

Team McDonald's Falcon driver Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne enjoyed a magic weekend on his home circuit during Round 2 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at the weekend.

Junior arrived at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway second in the championship and after a stellar weekend in front of sponsors, supporters and family maintained his championship position. Along the way he treated the hometown crowd to a race win as he greeted the chequered flag with a jubilant wave in the second race on Sunday morning.

Simon had the Team McDonald's Falcon on the pace throughout the round, qualifying third fastest. He then set the platform for a very successful weekend with a second place in the opening race having driven through almost the entire field, setting the fastest lap in the process. Simon rated the drive as one of his better ones ever. He had begun the race from thirteenth position but said the number thirteen was not going to ruin his race.

The following morning from a more favourable grid position 'Junior' was quickly into the lead and never looked threatened from that point on. He crossed the line 4.143 seconds in front, the victory gaining him pole position for the final race as the most successful driver of the round to that point.

Unfortunately the best spot on the grid proved to be a poisoned chalice as Simon could not see the start lights, his view blocked by a computer unit inside the ute. Consequently he was well beaten off the line. He settled into the race in fourth position and gained a place to finish third in the finale. The race was not without drama however as Simon was forced to take to the grass to avoid two utes that collided. "That saved me. The adrenaline was going again and I was hitting kerbs. Andy Neale had to get on the radio to tell me to settle down."

Three impressive results secured second place overall for the round and as he summed it up Simon was in a very positive frame of mind. "I'm elated once again. You can't get enough of these," he laughed holding up another trophy for his already impressive collection.

In contrast to the efforts of 'Jnr Burner' his father Graham - 'Snr Burner' had a frustrating time. The weekend looked set for a successful double act for the family when Graham was in the top three throughout testing on Friday. However the whole complexion of Graham's weekend changed when he missed the all important qualifying session and the points it could have brought him when a balljoint broke on his John Jones Steel Falcon. To add insult to injury he was then taken out whilst at the front of the field in Saturday afternoons opening race causing a huge moment. After recovering 'Snr Burner' brought the John Jones Steel Falcon home in twelfth position.

The following day Graham made forward progress in both races carding a ninth and fifth place finish in the two races.

At the conclusion of the second round Simon is still second in the championship while Graham sits in tenth equal position.

The Burners now head to Teretonga Park in Invercargill for the next round of the series from 14 -16 January, Simon in particular keen to uplift the number one trophy in a city with family connections and at a track that has treated him well in the past.

In addition to the support of major partners McDonald's and John Jones Steel in conjunction with Simon Beirne Limited, "Integrity in Vehicle Brokering," the team also has support from Bruce Raxworthy Panel & Paint, Chevron Quality Cars - Driving Excellence, Business IT Software Management Systems, Mag & Turbo Warehouse, NZVD Transport, Lets Get Graphic, DJ Hewitt Builders Ltd and Vehicle Safety Systems {VSS} And Compliance.

-source: beirne

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Series V8S