Lobb Moves To Holden And Returns To Timaru
Lobb Moves To Holden and Returns To Timaru
Top performing driver Caine Lobb has made the move from his Hydraulink open wheeler into one of the big boys toys from the Holden stable of performance cars and dives head first into the ENZED V8 Ute Series.
Driving for the Mark Cromie Holden Racing Team, Lobb had little time to prepare before heading to Timaru for the opening round at Levels International Motor Raceway this weekend. With the car arriving only a few days prior to the season start, Lobb will only have the weekend's test sessions with which to get up to speed in the Holden NZV8RU.
Before heading to Timaru from his hometown of Whangarei, Lobb said the car was 'mint' and that he couldn't wait to get it on to the circuit and see how it went. His limited experience in touring cars includes a stint in the Canterbury Motor Racing School Holden Commodore Super Six which he drove at one meeting at Ruapuna where he drove amongst the top contenders.
Lobb will have the help of his team boss Mark Cromie, a legend in jet boat racing on a global scale and owner of the Mark Cromie Holden dealership in Whangarei, Northland. Also along for the ride and an integral part of Cromie's power boat team is Brian McLean, Cromie's techo who will assist with the technical and mechanical side of running the brand new race car.
Lobb's personal secret weapon however will be John Crawford from Motorsport Solutions who will be meeting the trio at the weekend to add his midas touch to the Holden and have it running as quick as possible on the slim tight Levels circuit.
Crawford and the Motorsport Solutions Ltd team were instrumental in Lobb's campaign in the MTA Formula Ford Championship this season where he finished 2nd overall behind champion John Whelan who was another MSL backed driver.
Lobb's last race weekend at Levels just over one month ago was extremely successful when he took pole position and three wins from three races in his Hydraulink Van Diemen.
Mark Cromie is a very well known and respected businessman in Northland and is also very widely known after achieving world titles in power jet boating. Seeing the growing popularity of motorsport in New Zealand, he realised the ENZED V8 Ute Series would be a very strong tool for promoting his already sucessful Holden dealership in Whangarei.
Following his progress and successes through the media over the last two seasons Mark Cromie soon decided Caine Lobb would be the ideal driver for the campaign.
"I approached Caine because he is from Whangarei and I know he is a very good driver. He is also a very clean driver after coming through open wheeled racing. He is also very fit, just the other day he did a one hour enduro at the local kart track and finished around 20 laps ahead of every one else! Put any of the other ENZED V8 Ute guys in that situation and I doubt they would ever make it." he said.
Lobb has just last month returned to his home in Whangarei after spending nearly two years in Christchurch based at the Ruapuna circuit. There he worked as a trainee driving instructor for Andrew Neale at the Canterbury Motor Racing School.
At his time away from Northland he won the South Island Formula Ford Championship, Formula Ford Winter Series, this year's Formula Ford Festival and took runner up in the national championship this year. In the nationals he also took the majority of race wins including six in succession and claimed the most pole positions in the series.
Jumping from the small open wheelers Lobb dives head first into the sheer grunt of a Holden V8 and into an aggressive field of seasoned and experienced touring car drivers.
While contesting the Mark Cromie Holden NZV8UR in the ENZED V8 Ute Series, he will be going head to head with a mixed field of drivers including top level celebrity Temuera Morrison and Super Bike World Championship runner up and British Touring Car driver Aaron Slight.
Next weekend the series heads to Invercargill's Teretonga Park for Round Two and the fast paced six round series will wrap up at Manfield Autocourse in Feilding on June 15th.