Up-and-coming youth driver races SsangYong Ute

By: SsangYong NZ   |   10 Jun 2014

SsangYong NZ has put up-and-coming youth driver Faine (Fig) Kahia from Taupo Nui-a-Tia College into an Actyon Sport Racing Ute and his first race he has won bronze.

Faine Kahia (student at Taupo Nui a Tia College) not only came third in the First Windows and Doors Taupo Endurance 1 Hour Endurance Race, but was also the first ever person to race one of the new Ssangyong Actyon Racing Series Utes.

“Fig” as Faine is affectionately known, is a 17 year old year 13 student at Taupo-nui-a-Tia College and a proud member of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa tribe. Faine has also recently been accepted into the Motorsport NZ Academy of Excellence and is intent on pursuing a career in Motorsport.

“My dream is to become the first Maori race driver to win Bathurst! That may be seen as impossible by some, but that’s my dream in life and I will do everything I can to make that dream become a reality,” said the talented young driver.

"I am extremely grateful for Rick Cooper’s trust in me and I want to repay that faith by representing Great Lake Motor Distributors in their Ssangyong Actyon Racing Series, the preliminary category for V8 SuperTourers. The first event is the last weekend of September at Taupo, my home track.”

“Meanwhile I can’t wait for our next endurance race at Manfield in three week’s time where I understand I will also have some real competition from at least 5 other SsangYong Actyon Race Utes. This is all really great preparation for the National SsangYong Actyon Racing Series which I aim to win. Its early days in the Ute’s development and I think by the end of September, we will probably be a lot faster. The Ute ran faultlessly and could easily have completed 3 hours running but that was never the intention. It was to give me the opportunity to drive the SsangYong Actyon Race Ute in a real race and give the guys some feedback."

SsangYong Actyon Racing will be SsangYong’s major sponsorship for 2014–2017. It was dreamt up by SsangYong’s Managing Director Deon Cooper and the idea evolved with input from SsangYong Chairman and motorsports enthusiast Rick Cooper and with the help of BNT V8 SuperTourers and Xtreme Motorsports it has now become a reality. The first 10 race Utes have been built and tested and many are sold.

There is still room on the grid and deposits are now being taken to secure a racing Utes. The Utes, which have a 2.3litre petrol engine (derived from the Mercedes Benz partnership with SsangYong) have been fully converted into racing vehicles, have a $30k + gst price tag with lease and finance options available and will be exactly the same spec, no variations – so it will come down to talent on race day. The series is accessible to drivers of all levels, from the beginner to the more advanced, but is restricted to amateur drivers and there will be a few celebs in the mix.

One of the major benefits for SsangYong and the other corporates and sponsors that get involved in this exciting series is the television coverage they will receive from this racing series on TV3’s CRC Motorsport.

Managing Director Deon Cooper says “SsangYong Actyon Sport Racing is a win/win for the brand. It is a fun way for us to get behind Motorsports in NZ and provide those who may not have been able to afford it in the past, the opportunity to get behind the wheel and give it a go! Plus a SsangYong will win every time!”

“If we are going to continue to grow our market share we have to ensure Kiwis feel really comfortable and secure with our brand. This is just one activity that we plan to roll out in the next year to assure our customers that SsangYong is great quality, great fun as well as great value.”

For those interesting in finding out how they can get involved in the SsangYong Actyon Racing Series, contact Series Coordinator Mark Petch on 021 721 666 or email mark@ssangyongactyonracing.co.nz

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