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Sep 17, 2012 - 10:05 AM
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Kiwis Storm Bathurst For V8 Ute Trans-Tasman Challenge
Posted by: newsla on Sep 17, 2012 - 10:05 AM
Sports Cars
Kiwis Storm Bathurst For V8 Ute Trans-Tasman Challenge

Three drivers from the New Zealand V8 Ute Racing Series will join the field of the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All for Round 5 and battle for the Trans- Tasman Challenge at Mount Panorama, 4 – 7 October.


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James “Huggi” Urquart, Peter “Kaos” Ward and Peter “Rocketman” Robb will be representing the land of the long white cloud to try and reclaim the title, which was won by Aussie and Kiwi V8 Ute Racing Champion Chris Pither in 2010.

There have only been two Trans-Tasman Challenges in the history of V8 Ute Racing, the first in 2006 at Manfield New Zealand, which was won by the Aussie duo Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs and Simon Wills and in 2010 held at Hamilton New Zealand, making this year the first time the challenge, has been fought on Aussie Soil.

Holden has claimed the Trans-Tasman honours both times, and with the three Kiwi Race Utes all Holden Commodore VE’s, they are in with a great chance.

“I found I could foot it with the mid pack runners when we had the Trans-Tasman race at Hamilton, I think my driving has come a long way since then, and I have Jake Stoneman (Chris Pither’s head Mechanic) prepping and setting up my Ute now, so that’s an advantage, I’ve never driven the Bathurst circuit but have been doing plenty of laps on my Simworx Simulator so hopefully that helps a bit. None of the Kiwi teams are coming to just tag along at the rear of the field, so I guess I’d like to think I can be in the top half of the field……I guess we are about to find out,” said Urquhart.

All three Kiwi drivers have been in the New Zealand V8 Ute Racing Series since its inception and have competed in both Trans-Tasman Challenges. Urquhart is looking forward to taking on the Aussies once again.

“I’m very much looking forward to taking on the Mountain……. and a few Aussies too. It’s an awesome feeling that we are about to race at what could be described as the ‘holy grail’ of V8 racing tracks,” said Urquhart.

Reigning Champion Chris Pither joined the Aussie V8 Ute Racing Series following his close win over Kim Jane in the 2010 Trans-Tasman Challenge and will now be seated in a V8 Supercar at this year’s Bathurst 1000 and his fellow Kiwis couldn’t be happier for him.

“It’s great to see another Kiwi in the Supercar series, especially when he is a Ute Racing champ as well. His approach this year of giving young upcoming drivers a chance in the Ice Break Coffee Ute is a great thing for the sport and the recipients, and it’s great to see that Chris is getting the chance to prove himself in the supercars too,” said Urquhart.

The New Zealand drivers will all be run by Pither’s head mechanic Jake Stoneman who took Pither to an Aussie V8 Ute win last year in his Ice Break Ute. Stoneman will also continue running the Ice Break Holden Ute, which will be raced by Tom Williamson this round as the Chris Pither Scholarship recipient.

The Trans-Tasman Challenge is a pure clash of Aussie versus Kiwi in 450 horsepower of V8 Ute grunt and could easy turn into the “Bledisloe Cup” of motor racing. The Kiwis’ will first mix it with the Aussies on Thursday, 4th October for Practice 1.

See below full schedule for the V8 Ute Racing Trans-Tasman Challenge and Round 5 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All.

Friday, 5th October Practice 2 8am
Friday, 5th October Qualifying 3:40pm
Saturday, 6th October Race 1 9:50am
Saturday, 6th October Race 2 3:05pm (Televised LIVE as on Network Seven)
Sunday, 7th October Race 3 8am (Televised LIVE on Network Seven)

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