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Lockwood starts Ute title defence


V8 Ute racing begins at Manfeild this weekend with round one of the Enzed series.

Palmerston North driver Matt Lockwood begins his NZ V8 Utes title defence when the 2008/2009 Enzed-backed series begins at Manfeild this weekend.

Lockwood says he’s happy the new championship begins at his home circuit. "It's quite cool, a real treat to begin the championship at home as the defending champion.”

He has a clear goal. "I'd like to win all six rounds and the championship.” On the way to last season’s title he won four of the six rounds.

He’ll be busy at Manfeild, racing a Mazda RX-7 in the Pro 7 Plus class as well as defending his Utes title in the Sola H20 Holden Commodore, one of the oldest cars in the V8 field.

One of his biggest rivals this season will be the top Ford Falcon runner, last season's runner-up, Christchurch’s Simon Beirne who returns in his Team McDonald's Ford Falcon. Beirne took last year's battle right to the series’ final race.

Other front-runners scheduled to return are Mack Peach from Auckland in his Super Freight Holden and Caine Lobb (pictured) of Whangarei in his Mark Cromie Commodore.

Two other Palmerston North drivers will race utes this weekend, Geoff Spencer and Ash Cairns, the chairman of NZV8 Ute Racing Ltd and one of the driving forces behind the series.

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