New race winners emerge in the V8 Utes at Hampton Downs

| Photographer Credit: Matt Smith

In a weekend which saw Kyan Davie, Brad Kroef then Alex Fougere win one race apiece, ultimately Alex Fougere emerged the round winner after some of the closest racing all season for the V8 Utes at Hampton Downs. How close? Saturday morning’s qualifying saw lap times across first to twelfth barely two seconds apart setting the scene for some intense racing.

Sunday’s action began with a reverse grid Race Two for the V8 Utes competing with the Albany ITM Super V8s. With the TA2s & Open V8s up ahead but ominous grey skies overhead, Jeremy Hunt and Bruce McRae lead the field of V8 Utes with ten feisty drivers bottled up behind them. But midway through the first lap, the action turned to slow motion as the Commodore of Tim Edgell up ahead went off, prompting a safety car. On the restart, however, Kyan Davie bumped Simon Ussher – sending Simon into a spin and Kyan limping along with bent steering.

Alex Fougere reflects on his Round 3 win

On lap 5, light rain began falling and the fun began. Greg Kroef muscled his way up from 8th to finish the race in 3rd, while his son Brad fought his way up to the lead after starting 11th. And after all the work his crew had done on Saturday to solve a throttle issue, 5th was a great result for Phill Ross (having started in 12th), while Alex Fougere leap-frogged from 9th to finish 4th.

So it was a well deserved win for Brad Kroef and a fitting reward for the Heron Construction team after repairing a clutch issue the day before. Yet the race delivered another interesting result. Three drivers were all locked on 160 points after two races, which meant Race Three in the late afternoon was set to be a ripper.

Alex Fougere and Greg Kroef were on the front row and led the race until the Open V8 Commodore of Jonathon Udy locked up and ploughed into the kitty litter on Turn 8 initiating a safety car.

When the safety car departed on lap 3, the bump and grind began. Phill Ross had overtaken his way from 12th to 3rd by lap 3, followed by Daniel Ludlam, with Brad Kroef holding onto 5th. Then mid-race, Kyan Davie locked up on Turn One, nudged Daniel Ludlam, he spun and Simon Ussher collected him.

Alex Fougere held off Brad Kroef in Race 3

Throughout the race Alex Fougere kept a cool ahead – resisting attacks from Greg Kroef to take the chequered flag. Brad Kroef finally pounced on Phill Ross (who’d jumped up 8 places), to claim third. Midfield, it was Jeremy Hunt’s best result to date in 7th .

So with three winners from three rounds, the championship is still as tight as. A well deserved race win and his first round win for Alex Fougere. Meanwhile Peter Ward won the TA2 race leaving two Ward Demolition vehicles on the podium. Which led Alex to say “Peter Ward you’re a legend for providing us with your ute.” Roll on the finale in May.

1STBrad Kroef 
2NDDaniel Ludlam+0.028
3rdGreg Kroef+1.057
4thAlex Fougere+2.991
5thPhill Ross+11.275
6thPaul Fougere+12.085
7thStuart Monteith+14.473
8thBruce McRae+18.097
9thKyan Davie+18.110
10thBlair Gribble-Bowring+18.742
11thSimon Ussher+25.981
12thJeremy Hunt+26.581
1STAlex Fougere 
2NDGreg Kroef+1.831
3rdBrad Kroef+5.905
4thPhill Ross+6.156
5thKyan Davie+8.197
6thStuart Monteith+14.212
7thJeremy Hunt+16.469
8thBlair Gribble-Bowring+17.017
9thPaul Fougere+18.596
10thBruce McRae+20.413
11thSimon Ussher+29.300
DNFDaniel Ludlam 

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