Trans Tasman Battle Perfectly Primed At Hamilton The Trans-Tasman battle of the V8 Utes is perfectly primed with the two fastest qualifiers around the Hamilton streets today from each side of the Tasman. Whist series rules state that one driver...
Trans Tasman Battle Perfectly Primed At Hamilton
The Trans-Tasman battle of the V8 Utes is perfectly primed with the two fastest qualifiers around the Hamilton streets today from each side of the Tasman. Whist series rules state that one driver from each country will start side by side on each row of the grid that is exactly how the front two rows of the grid panned out today based on qualifying times.
Recently crowned New Zealand Champion Chris Pither 'The Doctor' took his ENZED Falcon to the fastest time of the session when he recorded a 1.40.94 second lap around the 3.4 kilometre Hamilton circuit. However just .2772 of a second slower today was the fastest of the Australians, Kim 'The Assassin' Jane in his Bob Jane T-Marts Commodore. Colin 'Crusha' Corkery of New Zealand was the third fastest with a 1.42.80 in his Supercharge Batteries Commodore while defending Trans-Tasman Champion Charlie 'Handlebars' Kovacs of Australia was just a fraction behind Corkery in his Wilson Security Commodore to set up a great duel in the opening race of this high speed test match tomorrow.
Pither banked a lap early today before some carnage later in the session left some coolant on the track. "Everyone is in the spirit of the challenge and we've got a couple of quick Aussies, Kim Jane and Charlie Kovacs in there. It should be a good race," said Pither.
Jane didn't let it go without a fight and kissed the wall three times during the session to try and catch the young Kiwi.
"I'm really pumped about this weekend and desperately want to win the Trans Tasman title. I think the speed of the Bob Jane T-Marts Holden is quick enough to do it and it would give me pleasure to take the win from Chris Pither the ENZED V8 Ute reigning Champ," said Jane.
On times the next fastest today were Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne of Christchurch in his Team McDonald's Falcon followed by countryman Matthew Lockwood of Palmerston North in another Commodore.
The concrete walls that line the 3.4 kilometre street circuit played a part in today's proceedings with Australian Warren 'Wakeup' Millet getting a real wake-up call when he locked up at turn 4 (a fast third gear corner) and crashed heavily, badly damaging his Commodore. There was heavy damage to the front end and the car is currently being repaired by the Australian Smash Repair Team and is scheduled to be back on the track for tomorrow's races.
Others to make contact with the unforgiving walls were kiwi James 'Huggi' Urquhart in his Wildcard Racing Holden while Corkery also had a close encounter, just brushing a wall without inflicting serious damage.
Two of the kiwis were also in the wars, avoiding the walls but not each other, as Peter 'Rocketman' Robb hit the back of Geoff 'Spence' Spencers ute.
George "Hollywood Elliot clipped the tyre bundle on the back straight chicane while trying to pass fellow Aussie Greg "Freddy" Willis in Qualifying. There was minor damage to his car and he will be back to battle for race 1 honours. Elliot also posted his best ever qualifying in 8th one place ahead of "Captain" Robert Jarvis.
The first two races, both over 10 laps, take place tomorrow. The first is scheduled for 9.05am with the second timed to start at 1.20pm. The third and final contest over 14 laps is scheduled for 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.
-source: ausv8 ute