PITHER PREVAILS AT HAMPTON DOWNS Chris Pither made another powerful start to Round 3 of the 2009/2010 NZV8 Ute Series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park at Meremere today. The Palmerston North driver known as 'The Doctor' placed his ENZED ...
PITHER PREVAILS AT HAMPTON DOWNS
Chris Pither made another powerful start to Round 3 of the 2009/2010 NZV8 Ute Series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park at Meremere today.
The Palmerston North driver known as 'The Doctor' placed his ENZED Falcon comfortably on pole position and then dominated the opening race of the round to take his sixth win from seven races held so far this season. His closest rival in the championship, Caine Lobb, the Ginja Ninja of Whangarei in his Mark Cromie Holden qualified second fastest and took the lead briefly at the start of the race but had to chase Pither to the flag. Aucklander, Bob 'Sly & Dirty' Grove, finished third in his Falcon.
Pither only required a handful of laps to set the fastest time in qualifying, recording a lap of 1 minute 17.578 seconds to take pole position in the twenty minute session this morning. His time was almost a second ahead of Lobb in his VE Commodore while Christchurch rookie Simon Grace was third fastest in his Wunderfloor Commodore. Next up was Grove followed by Peter Ward of Drury in a Holden with Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne in the John Jones Steel Falcon rounding out the top six.
Lobb won the start of the race but Pither had his measure and was in front at the end of the opening lap. Grove finished third while Grace was a non starter after his brake pedal went to the floor as he tested it on his way onto the circuit. His crew discovered the front brake lines had pulled out of the calipers. Graham Beirne, Geoff 'Spence' Spencer and Mike 'Buzz' Lightfoot took fourth, fifth and sixth placings respectively.
Newcomer, Wellington V8 driver Dave Stewart was a non-finisher while Mike Pero, 'The Loan Ranger', also suffered braking issues in his Holden.
Drivers loved the new circuit and Pither was credited with the new lap record of 1 minute 18.209 seconds as the NZV8 Utes made their first appearance at the track.
Three more races will be held tomorrow. The first, timed to start at 9.50am, will be raced over 8 laps from a marble draw grid. A reverse marble draw grid race over 8 laps will be held at 11.10am before the final race over 10 laps at 2.35pm. The grid for the finale will be based on the points earned during the first three races of the round.
The NZV8 Utes Series enjoys support from corporate partners, ENZED, Radio Hauraki and Yokohama for this season while the NZV8 Utes are managed by category manager, Jamie Kett of Event 1.
-source: nzv8 utes