Auckland’s Kieron Rollinson topped the round points at the end of another very competitive round of the 2015/2016 SsangYong Yong Racing Series Powered By The BNZ Bank, at Pukekohe Park Raceway over the weekend (Nov. 6/7/8).
An impressive twenty-nine drivers competed in front of the largest crowd that the already popular Series has raced at so far, with the second round of The SsangYong Racing Series racing as a support class for the ITM500 weekend at Pukekohe, featuring the Australian V8 Supercars.
Australia’s Alexandra Whitley was the fastest qualifier in her Waikato SsangYong sponsored Actyon ute, ahead of Christchurch driver Jayden Dodge in his Stadium Finance Actyon. Rollinson, running his #7 SsangYong Actyon in BGW Wheels colours, qualified third.
Early Championship contender Dodge then went on to win yet another highly entertaining first race in front of a huge Saturday crowd, with the always tough Pukekohe surface and layout providing many challenges around each of the six laps for everyone. Rollinson finished a close second, followed by Auckland’s Joel Herbert and Todd Prujean. Whitley finished got shuffled back to sixth at the end.
The second race on Sunday morning lined up with the top ten reversed from their finishing positions from Race 1, with Aaron Harris and Matt Gibson starting from the front row, with Dodge and Rollinson from row five. Dodge struggled to make progress in what turned out to be a very tough race for some, with unnecessary contact affecting many right through the field. Sadly last corner contact meant it would be a spectacular but disappointing end to Christina Orr-West’s race and weekend. She slammed into the outside wall at the very fast, final corner on the run to the chequered flag battling for a top four spot. Thankfully, while stiff and sore, Orr-West was given the ok, but the same couldn’t be said for her Actyon Racing Ute.
Whitley however, raced to the line for a hard fought win ahead of the chaos behind, with Rollinson eventually finishing second ahead of Rowan Shepherd, Prujean, Harris, and Herbert.
Jayden Dodge then scored another hard earned victory in the final race. It was another classic SsangYong Racing Series battle for the top spots, as Dodge was followed across the line by Rollinson, Shepherd, Herbert, Gibson, and Royce Rollinson.
So after three exciting and action packed SsangYong Racing Series races at Pukekohe, Kieron Rollinson narrowly won the round, ahead of Dodge, and Shepherd. After two rounds of the Championship, Dodge (1332 points), leads from Rollinson (1148 points), with Shepherd (1016 points) third overall.
Next up for the SsangYong Racing Series is the third round at Hampton Downs on November 28/29, featuring as one of many classes for the Premier NZ Motorsport Championship , where another full field of SsangYong Actyon Utes are expected.