TRANS TASMAN PRIDE HANGS ON FINAL RACE The Trans Tasman V8 Ute Test Series is set for an epic showdown on the streets of Hamilton tomorrow morning. The hotly contested series is all tied up after the opening two "test matches" today. Honours...
TRANS TASMAN PRIDE HANGS ON FINAL RACE
The Trans Tasman V8 Ute Test Series is set for an epic showdown on the streets of Hamilton tomorrow morning. The hotly contested series is all tied up after the opening two "test matches" today.
Honours were shared today and Trans Tasman pride is now hanging on the outcome of tomorrow mornings third and final race over 14 laps. The first two races produced some pulsating racing around the demanding 3.4 kilometre Hamilton Street circuit.
New Zealand Champion Chris Pither 'The Doctor' in his ENZED Falcon and Kim 'The Assassin' Jane in his Bob Jane T-Marts Commodore shared the wins after being the two fastest qualifiers yesterday. Pither had pole for the opening test match this morning but it was Jane who got the jump and led away. Pither 'The Doctor' then stalked 'The Assassin' over the early laps before making his move and taking the lead. However Jane was back in front soon after as Pither struggled to find a gear into Turn 1. Once past Jane held the lead to the finish taking the test match for Australia from Pither. Australian Charlie 'Handlebars' Kovacs was third in his Wilson Security Commodore ahead of Simon 'Junior Burner' Beirne who was fourth for New Zealand in his Team McDonald's Falcon.
New Zealander Colin 'Crusha' Corkery was next in his Supercharge Batteries Commodore ahead of Australian Robert 'Captain' Jarvis (BVC Racing Ford) followed by kiwi Matty 'The Phantom' Lockwood (Styrofit Underfloor Insulation Commodore). Next up were Aussie Allan 'King Al' Letcher (WA Lifting Equipment Holden) and another of the kiwis, Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne (John Jones Steel Falcon).
Australia also clinched the lap record when Jane set the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1 minute 41.0700.
This afternoons second test match was even more torrid with plenty of door to door battles throughout the field. Jane had pole for the second test and took the lead from the start with Pither again hounding him. After a short safety car period the battle resumed with Pither eventually getting by after a move that lasted several corners.
Pither took the race to even the score for the kiwis, setting up a no holds barred decider tomorrow morning. Jane was second, meaning he and Pither are equal in the drivers points also.
Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne took third after a fantastic drive after he was shuffled back to fifth in the early exchanges. However he drove well to get back to third ahead of Jarvis, Corkery and former New Zealand Champion Lockwood, frustrated by a lack of speed after testing well.
Kovacs, the defending Trans Tasman Champion jumped the start and the resulting penalty dropped him to 18th while Letcher touched the wall on the front straight, damaging his suspension early on. Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne was shunted from behind and turned around recovering to 16th.
Warren 'Wakeup' Millet was back on track today in his Wakeup Backpackers Commodore after a heavy accident yesterday, working his way back as high as 11th in the second race.
The all important decider takes place over 14 laps at 10.20am on Sunday morning.
Coverage of the final test match race will screen on TV3 at 5.30pm on Sunday.
-source: nzv8 utes