Ford Falcon Claims NZ V8 Touring Car Title
18 April, 2002
The Meguiar's sponsored AU Falcon, campaigned by Mark Petch Motorsport and driven by Ashley Stitchbury, claimed the New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship during the final round at Manfeild on the weekend.
Close racing between the top teams had been a feature of the championship, but Stitchbury dominated the series to the point that a podium finish in one of the last three races was enough to claim the title.
Brake problems saw Stitchbury have to settle for second place in both race one and two, but this was more than enough to secure the championship. In the third race, with the brake problem fixed, Stitchbury was unbeatable.
"The whole season has been a complete performance by the entire team, and the results we have achieved speak for themselves," said Stitchbury, following the final race.
"There isn't one thing that you can put your finger on and say that has been the difference between us and the other teams. We have been a well organised package, right the way through from the team management to support crew and mechanics."
"The team has taken racing to a new level, and we continued to lift the bar throughout the season."
Another AU Falcon rounded out the top three in the championship.
Dean Perkins, in his first season of V8 Touring cars driving a 'Road and Track' prepared AU Falcon, recorded two thirds and a fourth over the Manfeild weekend, which helped lift him to third in the championship.