Whangarei driver Caine Lobb ‘The Ginja Ninja’ continued on his winning way as Round 2 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge was fought out at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch this weekend
Lobb took his Mark Cromie Holden to a win, a second and a third place over the three races to accumulate sufficient points to win his second successive round.
Once again the V8 Utes provided superb racing for the large crowd at the Canterbury circuit.
Lobb was rapt with the win. “We ticked all the boxes here. We extended our series points lead,” he said.
Second overall was local driver Simon ‘Jnr Burner’ Beirne in the Team McDonald’s Falcon. Beirne won the second race of the round and was in the top three in every race. “You can’t have too many of these,” he said admiring his trophy. The final podium spot went to Mike ‘Buzz’ Lightfoot in his Falcon. “I’m over the moon,” said Lightfoot, a relative newcomer to the series. He praised Team BSL for their efforts and noted there was no panel damage from the round. “The weekend just came together!”
Defending champion Chris Pither ‘The Gypsy’ had another weekend fraught with problems although he recovered to win the last race in his Gallagher XR8 Falcon, moving to third in the championship.
Others to impress were experienced Australian visitor Rob ‘The Captain ‘ Jarvis, impressive rookie Chris Hanley and Graham ‘Snr Burner’ Beirne whose weekend suffered badly when he could not qualify due to a breakage after setting good times in testing.
A huge incident at the first corner of the first race on Saturday afternoon set the tone for an exciting weekend. Lobb avoided the carnage to win that race from Simon Beirne with Hanley third.
On Sunday morning Peter ‘Kaos’ Ward was on pole position despite misgivings about the handling of his ute. However he was swamped on the line by Lightfoot and ‘Jnr Burner’. Beirne relieved Lightfoot of the lead on lap 2 and the two Ford drivers carried on untroubled to the finish. Behind them there was plenty happening. Lobb worked his way through from the midfield to third with Hanley fourth. Pither, who started from the pitlane, was fifth with Rob Jarvis continuing his good weekend with a sixth placing. Dave Stewart and Mike Pero were retirements, Pero after spinning at the hairpin and kissing the wall.
Simon Beirne was on pole for the finale with Lobb alongside but Beirne could not see the start lights and Lobb got the jump. From there he made every post a winner until a safety car period closed the field up. That gave Pither, who had worked his way through the field, a chance and he took it sneaking through to win the final race from Lobb and Beirne.
One of the features of the series, the Citizen Watches Time Out Moment for the round went to Mike Pero for his trip into the tyre wall in Sunday morning’s race.
The series now moves to Teretonga Park in Invercargill where Round 3 will be held over the weekend of 14-16 January.
Series Points: (After Round 2)
Lobb – 546, S Beirne – 503, Pither – 405, Hanley – 395, Lightfoot – 364, Spencer – 338, McKelvie – 328, Jarvis – 286, Robb – 284, G Beirne – 276, Urquhart – 276, Morton – 264, Ward - 230, Grove – 164, Stewart - 114, J Kernohan – 114, D Kernohan – 106, Pero - 75