There was never a dull moment during Round 2 at Hampton Downs with 28 SsangYong utes on the grid and for Round 3 there will be 30 race utes tearing around Pukekohe Racetrack this weekend.
The 5 girls are back including Christina Orr who is climbing the points ladder and now lies second in the Championship after Hampton Downs, looking to challenge points leader Daniel Connor. Former Suzuki Class and BMW MINI Challenge Series Champion Ben Dallas is joining the series and is expected to be a hot contender for a podium finish this round. There is also a big International name (TBC) in the driver’s seat of the Stadium Cars Race ute who will no doubt capture some media attention.
Last round Auckland SsangYong’s Hayden Johnston in the Sleepyhead sponsored ute displayed outstanding driving skills and put his ute firmly in pole position for the first race, only to suffer from an electrical issue which put him out of contention for a podium finish.
Daniel Conner in the Elf ute continued to show excellent speed and consistency to take the round win at Hampton Downs, after taking second place in Taupo. Marty Irvine in his Racer Products ute was another consistent front runner and finished 3rd for the weekend and also lies in third place in the Series. In second place for the weekend (and the Series) was the first of the five women drivers - Christina Orr - who has just returned to motor racing after taking off four seasons to have her two children.
These three drivers were awarded prize money for their places on the podium. The other seven drivers who placed in the top 10 also will receive their share of the $3,000 prize money thanks to sponsor Elf Lubricants.
SsangYong NZ Chairman Rick Cooper said the anticipation going into Round 2 was huge and the racing was spectacular. “Despite this being an entry level form of motor sport, these drivers are competitive and mean business out there on the track. It is great to see them taking it so seriously and we are seeing some genuine talent coming through. Bring on Round 3 this weekend at Pukekohe!”
Race Director Mark Petch said there continues to be very strong interest in the series, especially following the TV production on TV3’s CRC Motorsport. “We have a full grid at Pukekohe of 30 race utes however there are still opportunities for those interested to get into a ute and get involved with the SsangYong Racing Series.”
At the end of Round 2 a few of the utes looked slightly worse for wear but thanks to SsangYong Motor Company, the spare parts are being subsidised, making it very affordable for the teams to repair their utes in time for Round 3 this weekend.
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