V8S

NZ Utes: Beirne Christchurch race 1 report

MIXED FORTUNES FOR BURNERS There were mixed fortunes for father and son Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne and Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne when the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge visited their home circuit, Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch ...

MIXED FORTUNES FOR BURNERS

There were mixed fortunes for father and son Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne and Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne when the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge visited their home circuit, Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch today.

Both had plenty of pace but luck plays a huge part in motor racing and while Simon put in a top drive today luck did not do Graham any favours.

The day began with qualifying when Simon 'Jnr Burner' posted the third fastest time as he blasted his Team McDonald's Falcon around the 3.3 kilometre circuit in a time of 1 minute 40.747 seconds. However Graham 'Snr Burner' did not complete a lap after a bottom balljoint broke on his John Jones Steel Falcon. The breakage meant a loss of valuable points from the session, especially frustrating as he had been in the top three throughout testing at the circuit on Friday.

However both father and son suffered a reversal of fortunes when the marble draw was made to establish the grid for the opening race this afternoon. Graham drew marble number five, placing him near the front of the grid while Simon drew thirteen - seven rows away from pole position.

The fortunes turned again in the race as Graham made a great start from the third row, following defending champion Chris Pither towards the lead. However as they got to the first corner the John Jones Steel Falcon was hit from behind, sending it sideways across the track. While Graham was recovering Simon was benefiting from a combination of skill and luck. From grid position thirteen he had made a great start and arrived at the first corner as the incident was unfolding.

"The start lights went out quickly and I made a clean start. I was wide at the first corner and I knew I had to get back in." Whatever happened amongst the spinning utes and smoke at the first corner Simon emerged in fourth place in the Team McDonald's Falcon. "That worked out well," joked Simon later. "Thirteen, unlucky for some they say, but I don't believe in that stuff." He then became embroiled in a dice with Australian Rob Jarvis, veteran of over 200 V8 Ute races in Australia. "He was damned hard to get past. I had that much adrenaline after what transpired on lap one that it took an uncharacteristically long time to get my rhythm. Once past another surprise awaited Simon - defending champion Chris Pither had retired, promoting the Team McDonald's Falcon to second.

It was a great result for Simon who also recorded the fastest lap of the race. "I'm proud for McDonald's, for me and for the team."

Unfortunately Graham's race was wrecked at the first corner through no fault of his own. He recovered to bring the battle scarred John Jones Steel Falcon home in 12th position.

Tomorrow at 10.45am the duo will contest another 8 lap race with Simon third on the grid and Graham eleventh while the finale over 12 laps is timed to start at 2.10pm.

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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About this article
Series V8S
Drivers Chris Pither