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Cross Relaxed Prior To Pukekohe

9 APRIL 2013

Cross Relaxed Prior To Pukekohe

Rangiora driver Hamish 'The Hustler' Cross is relaxed as he heads into this weekends non championship UDC V8 Ute races, part of the support programme at the Australian V8 Supercars ITM 400 event at Pukekohe Park Raceway south of Auckland.

While there are no series points up for grabs this weekend it will be no less competitive than the two previous events this season - at Hampton Downs in February and at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch last month.

All of the series' regular faces will be on the grid including this years pacesetter Chris "Hammer Time" Hanley of Auckland in a Holden. An exciting addition to the field will be last years Australian V8 Ute Rookie Of The Year, Kris 'Killa' Walton of Queensland in his BF Ford. That makes this weekends field the most competitive of the season so far.

However Cross is quite relaxed. "I'm pretty happy with everything and we will just see how things go this weekend," said Cross early this week as he prepared for just his third weekend of racing the BNT/Fuchs Falcon Ute. "Walton is one of the top Aussie boys and Chris is going really well. There have been some adjustments to the Holdens for this weekend so we will see what happens." After a troubled debut as he battled to overcome several issues at Hampton Downs Cross showed improved pace at the second round on his home track as he changed his driving style to suit the very different characteristics of the V8 Ute.

The relaxed frame of mind exhibited by Cross is a good indication of where he is at in motorsport currently. After a very successful career in a number of categories he has spent some time out of the sport in recent years and his main focus is now on his son Caleb's burgeoning karting career. Caleb recently took a dominant victory in the NZ Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha Championship held in Wellington and Hamish is "over the moon." The next step for Cross junior will be a challenge for the Queensland State Karting title later in the year.

However once a racer always a racer and while he may be very focused on Caleb's career, when the UDC V8 Ute field hits the track this weekend expect 'The Hustler' to be very much a contender.

Extensive modifications to the Pukekohe circuit have created a changed layout for competitors with a lap of the track now 2.9 kilometres in length. After a 20 minute test session and a 20 minute qualifying session on Friday the UDC V8 Utes will fight it out over three races this weekend, the first over 8 laps from a marble draw grid on Saturday morning, the second again over 8 laps from a reverse marble grid that afternoon and the third over 10 laps from a grid established by qualifying times at 11.10am on Sunday.

Photo - Hamish 'The Hustler' Cross and the BNT/Fuchs Falcon at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway during Round 2 of the UDC V8 Utes Series - please credit Geoff Ridder


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