The 2008/09 New Zealand V8 season began at Taupo on 3–5 October 2008 and finished at the Hamilton street race on 17–19 April 2009. After seven championship meetings and one season-ending non-championship event, Kayne Scott overturned a 38-point deficit heading into the final round at Pukekohe Park Raceway beating John McIntyre by just nine points. Here’s Kate Gordon-Smith’s weekend wrap from the final points-scoring round at Pukekohe in early March 2009……
Scott wins BNT V8s championship thriller
Hamilton Fujitsu Ford driver Kayne Scott (pictured in the middle) has won his second BNT V8s championship after victory in a thrilling reverse grid race in the series final at Pukekohe, snatching the championship title by just nine points from John McIntyre, the defending champion and series leader coming into this final round.
United Video Ford driver Craig Baird (pictured on the right) won the weekend’s first two races and with pressure from other top drivers Angus Fogg, Andy Booth and Tim Edgell, Scott was able to finish in front of McIntyre in both races, gaining a slim points’ advantage each time.
Coming into this final seventh BNT V8s event, McIntyre (pictured on the left) was ahead of Scott by 38 points, but by the time competitors lined up for the final reverse grid race, Scott was only 21 points adrift of McIntyre and starting right behind McIntyre for the rolling start.
Amongst the confusion that often reigns in a reverse grid race, Scott drove with great skill and some luck to quickly get past McIntyre and work his way through the field.
The defining moment came on the 19th lap when Scott passed Angus Fogg and Andrew Porter at the hairpin to snatch the lead. Until then, McIntyre was within two or three places of Scott, holding just enough of a points’ advantage to keep his championship hopes alive. But with Scott leaping into the lead as McIntyre held sixth, Scott gained a nine point lead over Johnny Mac to take the overall championship title for 2008-09.
“Craig’s shown us in other reverse grid races that you’ve got to go for it in these races, and boy, I’ve been listening to advice from everyone all weekend that I just had to go for it,” smiled Scott wryly after the surprise win. “It’s been quite a stressful weekend actually. We arrived in great shape and were doing well in qualifying until Craig showed us all how to do qualify fastest.
“Going into turn one at the back of the field in this last race with all the grass and dirt flying is pretty scary. Then every time I looked in my rear vision mirror, thinking I’d gained a bit of a gap on John, I’d see John passing another car behind me. But I’m pretty happy. I didn’t realise I’d won the championship until halfway down the back straight on the last lap when my team got the message through to me on the radio.”
Scott won his first New Zealand V8s championship in 2006 in a Holden, and has many other New Zealand and Australian motor racing titles to his credit including being a five-time TraNZam champion.
McIntyre was professional and gracious in defeat. “It’s just the way these things work,” said the Nelson-based BP Ultimate Ford driver who has won the last two V8 championships back-to-back and was gunning for a record-making third consecutive title.
“When Kayne had the inside line and got past me in the reverse grid race, I had all the calculations taped to my steering wheel. I got some big passes to stay in touch with Kayne, but in the end it wasn’t enough. The gap got too big and the timing was wrong. This is what happened to Kayne the first year I won this championship and today Kayne’s had the advantage in the final race of the championship,” said McIntyre.
Baird finished third in the BNT V8s Championship with 1048 points to Scott’s 1179 and McIntyre’s 1170. Competing in his first full V8s series, Baird has also wrapped up the Porsche GT3 Cup series this weekend.
Leading Holden drivers Andy Booth and Paul Manuell finished fourth and fifth respectively for the season. Having held third position behind McIntyre and Scott for several rounds, Booth slipped out of contention for third overall after a rare non-finish at the Manfeild round.
Angus Fogg was sixth overall which was a strong effort for his first year with his own team. Eddie Bell also achieved a fine performance with seven overall in his first full season in this class. Long-time V8 competitors Andrew Anderson and Adam Brook took a well-earned seventh and eighth place respectively while Tim Edgell was the biggest improver at this final round moving from twelfth to tenth overall.
The BNT V8s have completed their official championship season, but race at the Hamilton 400 in April in a trophy event.
BNT V8s Championship – Final championship points
Position, Driver, Hometown, Car, Championship points
1, Kayne Scott, Hamilton , Ford Falcon, 1179
2, John McIntyre, Nelson, Ford Falcon, 1170
3, Craig Baird, Gold Coast, Ford Falcon, 1048
4, Andy Booth, Auckland , Holden Commodore, 983
5, Paul Manuell, Auckland , Holden Commodore, 832
6, Angus Fogg, Auckland , Ford Falcon, 789
7, Eddie Bell, Christchurch , Ford Falcon, 711
8, Andrew Anderson, Auckland , Holden Commodore, 694
9, Adam Brook, Christchurch , Ford Falcon, 647
10, Tim Edgell, Auckland , Ford Falcon, 631
11, Michael Bristow, Pukekohe, Ford Falcon, 617
12, Paul Pedersen, Taupo, Ford Falcon, 590
13, John Penny, Taupo, Holden Commodore, 561
14, Dale Williams, Auckland , Ford Falcon, 526
15, Andrew Porter, Auckland , Ford Falcon, 505
16, Nick Ross, Cambridge , Holden Commodore, 475
17, Inky Tulloch, Gore, Ford Falcon, 449
18, Simon Richards, Hamilton , Ford Falcon, 405
19, Andy Knight, Christchurch , Ford Falcon, 358
20, John Hepburn, Timaru, Holden Commodore, 323
21, Luke Youlden, Melbourne , Ford Falcon, 291
22, Alan McCarrison, Auckland , Ford Falcon, 197
23, Chris Adams, Mosgiel, Holden Commodore, 197
24, Paul Radisich, Melbourne , Ford Falcon, 181
25, Steve Owen, Melbourne , Ford Falcon, 144
26, Boyd Norwood, Palmerston North, Ford Falcon, 114
27, Dave Stewart, Wellington , Holden Commodore, 104
28, David Besnard, Gold Coast, Ford Falcon, 88
29, Mack Peach, Bombay , Ford Falcon, 74
30, David Hopper, Auckland , Holden Commodore, 67
31, Cam Hardy, Hamilton, Holden Commodore, 54
32, Julia Huzziff, Auckland , Holden Commodore, 48
33, Shaun Turton, Pukekohe, Holden Commodore, 18
34, Dean Perkins*, Pukekohe, Ford Falcon, 0
* Please note that Dean Perkins is competing under a “parked V8 franchise” agreement and therefore is ineligible for championship points.