V8S

NZ Utes: Series Trans Tasman Thursday notes

FAMILY SPLIT OVER TRANS TASMAN V8 UTE BATTLE A family has been divided as the Trans Tasman V8 Ute Challenge gets ready to rumble in Hamilton this weekend. 'Dirty Dave' Kernohan of Turangi will line up as part of the New Zealand team in his KCL...

FAMILY SPLIT OVER TRANS TASMAN V8 UTE BATTLE

A family has been divided as the Trans Tasman V8 Ute Challenge gets ready to rumble in Hamilton this weekend.

'Dirty Dave' Kernohan of Turangi will line up as part of the New Zealand team in his KCL Contracting Falcon while his son Jeff 'The Dingo' Kernohan takes to the track for Australia in his Energy Oil/Raffs Tyre Services Falcon.

Both are keen to get the upper hand as a team of Australians arrive to take on their kiwi V8 Ute racing counterparts at New Zealand's biggest motor race weekend of the year.

'Dirty Dave' has been a regular competitor in New Zealand since the final round of the inaugural series three years ago and finished sixth in this years championship while 'Dingo' has just one V8 Ute round under his belt. However both are keen to come out on top in this high speed international contest.

"There is a definite rivalry there," says Dave. "It's nothing unfriendly, it's good fun. I'm looking forward to racing on the Hamilton Street circuit and I am hoping that we kiwis can knock over the Aussies - especially now!" Dave worked in Australia for five and a half years and while he was living across the Tasman son Jeff was born hence the younger Kernohans allegiance with the Australians.

"I was born in Sydney," explains Jeff. "When I was three and a half years old we moved to New Zealand but I've always considered myself an Aussie," says the man who has picked up the nickname 'Dingo'.

Jeff is very new to V8 Utes, contesting his first ever event in the final round of the New Zealand Series at Timaru last month. "I absolutely enjoyed myself. I just tried to stay out of the way. I didn't want to muck up anyones championship. This time it's no holds barred," he says. Prior to his ute debut 'Dingo' had no motor racing experience. I had done jetskis and dirt bikes and crewed for race trucks. However 'Dingo' seems undaunted by the new experience awaiting him on the concrete wall lined Hamilton Street circuit. 'It will be interesting," he says.

The Kernohans are just two drivers who are fiercely competitive and extremely loyal to their respective country's who will battle for Trans Tasman honours in a new addition to the programme at the ITM 400 in Hamilton, the New Zealand round of the V8 Supercar Championship.

Both the Australian and New Zealand V8 Ute Series are hard fought with spectacular racing and great characters. Drivers such as Chris Pither 'The Doctor' and Matt Lockwood 'The Phantom' of New Zealand and Charlie 'Handlebars' Kovacs and Kim 'The Assassin' Jane of Australia will provide racing action that will be as good as any on the street s of Hamilton this weekend. To make things even more competitive each row of the grid will feature a driver from each country so it is game on.

After a 30 minute test session at 8.55am on Friday morning there will be a 20 minute qualifying period at 10.40am. The first two races over 10 laps are scheduled for Saturday at 9.05am and 1.20pm respectively with the third and final contest over 14 laps timed to start at 10.20am on Sunday morning.

The V8 Ute races will also feature in the New Zealand television coverage of the event on TV3. Race 1 will screen at 2.15pm on Saturday afternoon with the second race set to reach the screen at 5.30pm. Full race coverage of the third and final race will screen at 5.30pm on Sunday.

The NZV8 Utes Series enjoys support from corporate partners, ENZED, Radio Hauraki, Yokohama and Castrol for this season while the NZV8 Utes are managed by category manager, Jamie Kett of Event 1.

-source: nzv8 utes

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