Matt Lockwood racked up his fourth round win and clinched the 2008 Enzed V8 Ute title at a rainswept Pukekohe last weekend.
Lockwood (20) is in his second year of racing. He also drove his six-year-old VU Holden to bring his season’s record to two second overall placings in the six-round inaugural series for Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon utes. He also took the Mainland Trophy, awarded to the top driver in the three South Island rounds of the championship.
Lockwood went to Pukekohe with a lead of 27 points over Ford driver Simon Beirne. Realising that a DNF would severely dent his chances of winning, Lockwood made sure he kept his car on the black stuff, a tactic that some of his closest competitors couldn’t replicate.
Lockwood won the first race and was seventh in the reverse grid second race, his lowest placing in the series.
His safe driving in difficult conditions gave him the highest aggregate points total over the first two races and earned him pole for the final race. He also had an increased points margin over Beirne.
Lockwood slotted in behind Dayne Running at the start of the final race, only having to finish to win the championship. But despite calls from his pit crew to take it easy, Lockwood poured the pressure on Running, passing him at the hairpin on the final lap to take the race and the round win.
Beirne finished the series in second place, with Mack Peach third, Caine Lobb fourth and Miles Worsley fifth.
“What a way to finish my second ever season of motor racing,” said Lockwood. He said he owed much of his success to the support of his crew, Kirk and Jake Stoneman and Dan Hayes, who had been on hand to give him advice since he got his first car, an HQ Holden, two years ago.
Lockwood finished third in the 2006/2007 HQ Holden championship and won the North Island Division 2 trophy. He moved to the Pro7 (Mazda RX-7) class and was third in the 2007/2008 New Zealand and North Island championships, even though he didn’t contest all rounds.
Lockwood says he’s looking forward to defending his title next year. His goal is to drive in the Australian V8 Supercar series. He says NZ V8 Ute series organiserrs Ash Cairns and Jamie Kett have done “a fantastic job of getting this series up and running”.
“There has been some great racing and next year promises to be even better, with more cars and eight meetings, including the A1GP and a Transtasman challenge.”