JUNIOR BURNER BACK ON THE PODIUM Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne made a triumphant return to the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge when he finished second in the first race of the opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland today. Beirne, of ...
JUNIOR BURNER BACK ON THE PODIUM
Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne made a triumphant return to the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge when he finished second in the first race of the opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland today.
Beirne, of Christchurch, brought his Team McDonald's Falcon through the field from eighth position on the grid (decided by marble draw) to second place and a podium result after eight eventful laps around the 2.8 kilometre Pukekohe circuit.
To make it a double delight for the Beirne family sixty-three year old Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne, Simon's father, brought his John Jones Steel Falcon across the line in fourth place to give the family a strong presence at the front of the field.
The race was an exciting one as a chain of utes battled it out over the closing laps with both 'Burners' very prominent.
"The Team McDonald's Falcon was an absolute dream," said Simon after the race. "It was as good as it was at Hamilton," he said referring to his last outing - the V8 Ute Trans Tasman Test Match at the end of last season. "We've only refreshed the engine. We were looking for a good start, a clean race and to press on towards the front. The Holdens had so much power onto the back straight," observed Junior. "It was great to progress from eighth to second and be right on the tail of race winner Chris Hanley in his Holden over the last few laps."
"A year off serves some of us well," he laughed after such a good result on his return to the series after missing most of last years competition. However in his one series appearance last year and his outing in the Trans-Tasman Test Match he was immediately competitive again. That competitiveness continued today as Simon set the third fastest time in qualifying and then scorched through the field to a podium in the race.
Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne was also in good form. From fifth on the grid he ran as high as third before crossing the line in fourth place. The result was a continuation of his good form of last season when he achieved a podium finish of third in the championship.
Tomorrow the 'Burners' contest two more races - an 8 lap event at 11.30am and a 12 lap finale at 2.50pm.
-source: Simon Beirne