Former New Zealand V8 Ute Champion Caine Lobb proved that combining driving skill and local knowledge is a winning combination at the 6th and penultimate round of the SsangYong Actyon Sport Ute Racing Series held last weekend at Christchurch’s Ruapuna Race circuit.
Lobb won the round from Tauranga’s up and coming young 17-year-old Todd Prujean, who has now leapt to third in the championship, and proving to be one of the leading “finds of the series”. Also from Tauranga is young 15-year-old karter Blake Harris who charged through the field to finish 3rd in the 15 lap feature held in wet and cold conditions, which saw several competitors fall victim to the slippery track.
Christina Orr, endured a “tough day at the office” with a DNF in race two which was also held in wet and slippery conditions, due to an off track collision with another competitor. There was also a controversial on-track altercation with Rowan Shepherd, which resulted in yet another DNF but she still clings to 2nd place in the SRS Championship.
Meanwhile Championship leader Daniel Connor kept out of trouble and further extended his lead in the Championship – he is now sitting on a total of 3,164 points for the series, 587 ahead of Orr with one round to go.
With 15-year-old Aucklander Chelsea Herbert having to sit out the Christchurch round due to the lingering effects of the concussion she experienced two weeks earlier, it was left to Australia’s Alexander Whitley and Aucklander Jessica Antonievic to make up the girls team for the weekend - the first time in the series there has been less than 4 girls in the field.
Whitley had a strong run over the weekend to finish ahead of arch rival Christina Orr for the first time in the Series. “I felt really sorry for Christina this weekend,” Alexander said. “She didn’t deserve such cruel luck - normally she manages to stay out of trouble and still be fast but this weekend lady luck deserted her. She is a strong competitor and any time I can run competitively with her I know that I have definitely improved as a race driver and that’s what this series is all about - learning race craft in a competitive environment.”
Race Director Mark Petch said, “Generally I am very happy with the improved standard of driving, however there is still one or two of our competitors who are driving with ‘red mist in their eyes’ and we must and will continue to work with all the SRS drivers to lift their game.”
The final round of the SsangYong Racing Series Championship is to be held at Pukekohe Park on the 10/11 of April. 30 SRS competitors are expected to be present for the grand final with the Series Winner and one lucky person in the top 10 receiving free trips to Korea to visit SsangYong Motor Company.
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