NZ Utes: Series Timaru Saturday report


The action from Round 4 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at Timaru International Motor Raceway today threw up some familiar scenarios along with a few surprises. Championship leader Caine Lobb 'The Ginja Ninja' sped to yet another race win in his Mark Cromie Holden to increase his series points lead while two relative newcomers achieved their best ever series results.

Lobb of Whangarei, charged into the lead on the opening lap from fourth position on the grid and led the rest of the way to win his fourth race in the series.

Mike 'Buzz' Lightfoot of Auckland led initialIy before settling into second place after Lobb passed him. Lightfoot was running comfortably in what he described as one of his best drives in the BSL Falcon until the computer on his ute shut down dropping him way down the order as he tried to restart it.

That allowed Dave Stewart 'The Boss' of Wellington into second place in his Holden despite handling that he described as "hopeless". Stewart crossed the line in second place to take his best ever finish in his short V8 Ute career although he had a scare on the final lap when he missed fourth gear. That gave Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne the opportunity to get on his tail on the run to the line. Beirne, of Christchurch, was running the Falcon seen in the hands of Australian Rob Jarvis in the opening rounds of the series. Jarvis could not race at Timaru due to business commitments so Beirne took over his ute after his own was badly damaged at Teretonga last weekend.

While 'Snr Burner' looked destined to take third place the final podium spot was ripped from his grasp right on the line by none other than his son, Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne, who pipped 'Senior' on the line in his Team McDonald's Falcon.

Jeff 'Ripples' Kernohan was fifth in his Ford, his best ever ENZED V8 Ute result on the circuit where he made his debut last season. Kernohan of Turangi was "rapt" with the result which he achieved after a good battle with Palmerston North driver Geoff 'Spence' Spencer who rounded out the top six in his Holden.

Meanwhile the fastest qualifier and defending champion Chris Pither 'The Gypsy' started the race from the pitlane after he snapped an axle on the warm-up lap. A frustrated Pither cruised around to pick up points, finishing twelfth.

Holden driver James 'Huggi' Urquhart of Karaka was the only non-finisher after being shown the mechanical flag which brought him into the pits.

Leading rookie, Chris Hanley of Auckland, an impressive new addition to the series this season, was also a non starter today after suffering an injury in a non racing incident during the week. The ENZED V8 Ute Challenge Series competitors and personnel wish Chris a speedy recovery and look forward to his series return.

Tomorrow the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge programme comprises of an 8 lap race at 10.25am with the final race over 12 laps timed to start at 2.00pm.

The category enjoys the support of ENZED, UDC Finance, Radio Hauraki, Yokohama, Castrol, Citizen Watches, Exedy, Armorall, SCT and EFILive.

-source: nz v8 utes

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Series V8S
Drivers Dave Stewart , Chris Pither