With the third race at Taupo Motorsport Track cancelled due to freakish winds, the anticipation for Round Two of the SsangYong Racing Series this weekend is building with a serious amount of competitive tension amongst the 28 strong grid.
Round Two at Hampton Downs sees the number of female drivers in the SsangYong grid increase to five with new comer Stef Baigent (Kent Baigent’s daughter) racing the SsangYong Motor Company sponsored ute. Ex NZV8 and TRS driver and top female so far, Christina Orr, finished in the Top 10 at Taupo and is hoping to climb the ladder at Hampton. Also back on the grid this round are our Top Kiwi and Aussie Female Go Karters – Chelsea Herbert and Alexandra Whitley. Takanini SsangYong Operations Manager Jessica Antonievic makes up the 5 strong female contingent.
Winner of Round 1, Gene Rollinson, is racing a SuperTourer this weekend giving the other drivers at the top of the table including Daniel Conner (Elf Lubricants), Cory Holmes (Takanini SsangYong), Marty Irvine (Racer Products) and Faine Kahia (Tuwharetoa) the opportunity to close the gap on the points table.
However the challenge will be on from the new drivers joining the grid this round including former NZV8 Ute Champion and V8ST Driver Matt Lockwood as our star entrant and up and comers Kieron Rollinson, Andy Wright, Shaun Morris and Andrew Nickolls from Australia.
Last month the SsangYong Race Utes were warmly welcomed by race fans and fellow competitors at Taupo and provided close and entertaining racing, especially the reverse grid won by Taupo local school boy Faine Kahia who overtook Marty Irvine in the Racer Products ute in the last seconds of the race. All 25 utes finished the days racing although many were sporting battle scars. Fortunately for the teams, SsangYong NZ are providing spare parts for the Actyon Race utes at cost, making it very affordable to carry out repairs.
SsangYong Chairman Rick Cooper can’t wait to see what Round Two brings. “With some new blood and the anticipation from Round 1plus three more utes on the grid, this weekend is shaping up to be a goodie with plenty of action and some entertaining racing.”
Another element driving the fierce competition are the prizes sponsored by Elf Oil and SsangYong NZ. The Top Ten drivers win a share of $3,000 of prize money each round plus the winner of the Series takes away the Sir Colin Meads ‘PineTree’ Cup and a trip to Korea to visit the home of SsangYong Motor Company.
An hour’s coverage of Round 1 of the SsangYong Racing Series was played on TV3’s CRC Motorsport on Sunday 19th October. Round 2 will be played two weeks following the Hampton Round. For those interested in finding out more about the SsangYong Racing Series, contact Series Race Director Mark Petch on 021 721 666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org