Kiwi V8 Ute Trio To Tackle The Mountain
3 OCTOBER 2012
Kiwi V8 Ute Trio To Tackle The Mountain
A trio of kiwi V8 Ute racers are heading for their motorsport mecca this weekend to take on their Australian counterparts at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst, New South Wales.
Peter 'Kaos' Ward in the Ward Demolition Holden, James 'Huggi' Urquhart in the Mitre 10 Trade Holden and Peter 'Rocketman' Robb in the Hill Country Helicopters Holden are all Aussie bound to take part in the Bathurst round of the Auto One Australian V8 Ute Championship protected by Armor All. All three are prominent competitiors in the UDC V8 Ute Series in New Zealand and they are all looking forward to their Bathurst outing.
Ward, an Auckland demolition contractor, finished fourth in the 2011/2012 UDC V8 Ute Championship in New Zealand, taking his debut race win during the season. "What an adventure," said Ward this week as he looked forward to the weekend. "I actually expect to get the crap kicked out of me by the Aussie drivers. They have got some rock star drivers in that category - semi professionals. However you just dive in exuberantly and take lifes adventures. It's like Lotto - you get your marble and you have a go. A lot can happen in a V8 Ute race! The weather forecast for the weekend doesn't look great but I like the rain," he says.
The visit will be a poignant one for the Aucklander. Ward is the only one of the three kiwis to have been to Bathurst before, having visited there twice. "I am great friends with the Porter family. I went there to support Mark Porter a couple of times and I was there when he passed away. It is a reminder of how vicious the hill can be. I will definitely have a quiet little word for the boy while I am there."
Neither Urquhart or Robb have ever been to the circuit before. "Am I looking forward to the weekend," says Urquhart. "Hell yeah!" "I would describe it as the holy grail of V8 racing. I want to be competitive and get the Mitre 10 Trade Holden into the top half of the field. Half of their drivers are professional. We are going 'roo' hunting. None of us are going there to sit at the back. We spent a lot of money on our utes to get them to Australian spec. It will be a big, big week. The fact it is the 50th Bathurst is all the better. To go to Bathurst is cool, to drive there is amazing and to take part on the occasion of the 50th is even better! We owe a huge vote of thanks to A-Ward Attachments who paid the freight on all three utes."
Robb is also making his visit to Bathurst. "It is something I always said I would like to do. It will be pretty awesome. It is going to the holy grail of the motorsport world. I am going with the attitude that it will be a struggle to be up the front but I would like to be mid pack. However I do know I want to be racing on the last day. At Hamilton this year I was out for the last race. All I know of the circuit is what I have seen on TV but those that have been there tell me television doesn't do it justice - the track is very steep."
The kiwis will take part in two practice sessions, one on Thursday and one on Friday, on the 6.21 kilometre Mount Panorama circuit before qualifying on Friday afternoon. Two races follow on Saturday with the third and final race on Sunday.
Two time New Zealand V8 Ute Champion and current Australian V8 Ute Champion Chris Pither and NZV8 Ute Chairman Ash Cairns have been instrumental in collecting the New Zealand utes after they arrived in Australia after they were sea freighted across the Tasman in early October. Another Board member Paul Isaac will be at Bathurst for technical support for the New Zealand entrants.
Looking ahead the UDC New Zealand V8 Utes Race Series will take place alongside the V8SuperTourer Series in 2013 and the Board and Shareholders of NZV8 Utes are looking forward to running alongside V8SuperTourers. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes and the rate of inquiries about joining the series has been very high since the move was announced.
Support for the category in New Zealand comes from UDC Finance, Armor All, Xtreme Race Clutches, Nulon Oils, Champion, K&N, Radio Hauraki, Yokohama, Woodstock, SCT, EFILive, Holden, Ford, Espresso Cafe, McEntee Event Hire and The Gearbox Factory.
For further information visit the series website - www.v8utes.co.nz
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Photograph - The three kiwi V8 Ute competitors racing at Bathurst this weekend - Peter 'Kaos' Ward leads Peter 'Rocketman' Robb and James 'Huggi' Urquhart during the UDC V8 Ute Series in New Zealand - please credit Geoff Ridder