Championship still wide open as the V8 Utes head to Hampton Downs

| Photographer Credit: @dillonphotonz

As we pass the halfway mark in the NZV8 Utes racing championship, Round Three at Hampton Downs looks anything but a foregone conclusion.

Last season’s champion Brad Kroef leads the championship with his father Greg just a few points behind in 2nd. But with two drivers returning for this round and Phill Ross looking quick after winning Round Two at Manfeild, the event is looking to be a cracker. As the V8 Utes race behind the TA2 & Open V8 categories in the Super V8s, seeing around 25 high-powered race machines in action is quite a spectacle.

First, the prodigal drivers. Last November, Kyan Davie managed an impressive 2nd place in the wet in Round One at Taupo before mechanical issues halted his progress. So expect big things from the return of Kyan in the Eastern Freight Holden ute. Jeremy Hunt, also in a Holden, is back in action having been away from the series for over a year. Let’s see what all that pent-up aggression leads to when he’s back in the driver’s seat.  With these returning drivers added into the mix, we’ll see the biggest field of Ford and Holden V8 Utes for the season.

Another high-performer who rapidly got to grips with the wet track at Taupo is Alex Fougere who steered the Ward Demolition Holden to impressive 1st, 3rd and 9th placings. He then backed up those performances with solid placings in Round Two at Manfeild. Currently 3rd in the championship, Alex will be out to build on his points tally in Round Three.

Fast qualifying times for the V8 Utes last round demonstrated just how close the racing action is. While Brad Kroef was around 0.7 of a second faster than the rest, the 2nd to 8th-placed utes were separated by just 1.047 seconds. Expect some close qualifying times and even closer racing around the 2.7-kilometre Hampton Downs international circuit.

The action at Hampton Downs kicks off Friday, March 15th with Super V8 practice sessions at 11.40 am and 3.02 pm. Qualifying is scheduled for 11.02 am Saturday morning with Race One at 3.02 pm in the afternoon. Race Two is 11.56 am Sunday 17th March with Race Three at 4.29 pm that afternoon. Race fans who can’t make the journey to Hampton Downs can watch the Sunday races from 10 am live on Sky Sport.

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