ANOTHER ROUND PODIUM FOR JUNIOR BURNER Simon Beirne of Christchurch, 'Junior Burner', forged a successful beginning to the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at Pukekohe Park Raceway near Auckland this weekend. Beirne, who sat out most of last years ...
ANOTHER ROUND PODIUM FOR JUNIOR BURNER
Simon Beirne of Christchurch, 'Junior Burner', forged a successful beginning to the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at Pukekohe Park Raceway near Auckland this weekend.
Beirne, who sat out most of last years championship, has always been a top contender in the hard fought category and he showed he has lost none of his speed as he brought the Team McDonald's Falcon to second place for the round to take a podium on his return to competition.
After qualifying third fastest 'Junior' racked up a second, fourth and third place over the three races to achieve the placing in the categories first ever appearance at a premier summer motor race series meeting.
The placings were hard earned too as Simon had to come through the field and pick up spots in two of the three outings. After he drew grid position number eight for the opening race he dispensed with six of his fellow competitors to climb to second. In Sunday mornings race he was again eighth on the grid, this time making it to fourth place.The Team McDonald's Falcon was hot on the tail of third place man Bob Grove for the final laps but just could not get past. "I could not get through," said Simon later. "I got a pretty good start but then everybody did. He was holding his lines. I was getting a good rhythm prior to the safety car coming out. After the safety car pulled in the hunt was on for Grove. I was waiting for a mistake."
In the final race the Team McDonald's Falcon pressured race one winner Chris Hanley for several laps, getting by before the flag for third place.
"It's great to come into the weekend with McDonald's behind me again and with the help of Andy (Neale) and Richard (Knowles). It has been fantastic. We have just taken one thing at a time. A practice session, then the next one, then qualifying, race one and so on. We have just tried to do our best to bag points. With Chris Pither having his problems it has given everyone an opportunity. The car is in good shape and it went really, really well. To get second overall here at Pukekohe is great because this circuit has been my nemisis in the past. I only wish Dad could have had a good weekend too."
Simon's father Graham, 'Snr Burner', Beirne had a tough weekend in his John Jones Steel Falcon. Last years third placegetter in the championship had begun the weekend in great fashion when he finished fourth in the opening race backing up 'Junior' in second place. However his Sunday was a difficult one. A pitstop in Sunday mornings race dropped 'Snr Burner' down the order while he was in the wars again in the finale. After his impressive start to the weekend his trials and tribulations on Sunday left him in eleventh on points.
However the 'Burners' will tackle the next round of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge on their home circuit - Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna near Christchurch over the weekend of 26-28 November. As Simon points out, "I'm looking forward to taking the Team McDonald's Falcon south to race on home turf."
In addition to the support of major partners McDonalds 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.