Current Female World Water Speed Record Holder racing ute in Round 4

By: SsangYong NZ   |   23 Jan 2015

The Current Female World Water Speed Record Holder will be demonstrating her driving skills around the track at Hampton Downs at the end of the month, as part of the SsangYong Racing Series.

Australian-based Heather Spurle, who has had a very illustrious career in motor racing including having several Bathurst Endurance Events under her belt, has been coaching and supporting young Australian Go Karter Alexandra Whitley in the Waikato Ute during the last three rounds of the SsangYong Racing Series. However, it was not long before her competitive nature kicked in and she is now trying it out herself. Heather will be driving the SsangYong Motor Company Race Ute at the next NZ SuperTourers event – Round 4, 31 Jan to 1st Feb – and is keen to show the young up-and-comers in the SsangYong Racing Series how it should be done.

As well as being the Current World Record Holder for Water Speed, Heather has also set NZ Records for Land Speed and Endurance. For three years in a row (1987 – 1989) she was awarded ‘Outstanding Female’ at the NZ Motorsports Sportsperson of the Year Awards. She has a long list of motorsport accolades on her resume and will be a serious force to be reckoned with at Hampton Downs come the end of January.

Heather's Youtube clip, showing her clocking up a speed of 277kph on water is a must see.

Another one of the six Female Drivers who should be watched closely is Christina Orr who has been the big mover in the series so far, currently sitting second on the points table and looking for another podium finish. A round win is there for the taking, especially with current series leader Daniel O’Connor (in the ELF sponsored ute) unavailable for Round 4 due to work commitments. Another driver with something to prove at Hampton Downs is the driver of the Sleepyhead Ute Hayden Johnston who was robbed of a near certain race win at the same circuit in Round 2 when electrical gremlin's prematurely ended his pole sitting race, before the green flag fell.

Again for Round 4, a full field of 30 SsangYong Race Utes will be racing, making for exciting viewing. There are three new names amongst the entries including one name – Deon Cooper (SsangYong NZ Managing Director) – which will be familiar to the other competitor's.

When asked about his surprise entry at Hampton Down's, Deon laughingly said, "I know I am probably going to get my arse kicked but I promised myself to at least do a race meeting before the end of the season and with one spare ute available I persuaded our Race Director Mark Petch to throw me the keys for the weekend!”

For those that missed the last round at Pukekohe, including the impressive roll from Ben Forrest in the Test and Tag ute, Round 3 is available to view on TV3’s OnDemand under CRC Motorsport.

For those interested in finding out more about the SsangYong Racing Series and how to get involved contact Series Race Director Mark Petch on 021 721 666 or email

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