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Rocketman blasts to first V8 Ute win!

Rocketman blasts to first V8 Ute win!

Peter 'Rocketman' Robb lived up to his name with a superfast start in Race 3 that was the foundation for a dramatic win in the third race of the weekend for the UDC V8 Utes at the ITM 500 at Pukekohe Park. It was his first win in six seasons with the UDC V8 Utes - and what a race to win.

This one had it all. Twenty year old birthday boy Jack 'Fanta' Kofoed starting only his third V8 Ute race from pole in front of a monster crowd, with the wily Rocketman - arguably the hardest driver to pass in the UDC series - alongside on the grid. As the lights went out, Fanta fluffed his start and both Rocketman and Mike 'Buzz' Lightfoot pounced, surging into first and second into Turn 1 leaving Kofoed ahead of a very busy pack.

It got closer and c loser round the first lap until the Turn 5 section, where Kris 'Killa' Walton received a sizeable hit from team mate John 'JP' Penny that put him off and onto the grass sideways. As he recovered he was clouted by Glen 'Coyote' Collinson who was also a bit sideways after contact. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the pack, Geoff 'SOS' Spencer had outbraked himself and made contact with Peter 'Kaos' Ward. Amazingly, they all made it round over the Mountain and surged through to start the second lap.

Robb opted for stout defence and it was enough to repel two or three passing attempts by Lightfoot, but the man to watch was young Kofoed, who looked very racy and within a lap or two had made up all of the time lost at the start. He had a couple of looks at Buzz and then made a classic move down the inside at the hairpin to take second. Robb had edged away in the meantime, edging out a couple of car lengths.

Behind the leaders, Sam 'Bazza' Barry was lucky to avoid a huge crash at the Mountain after contact with Peter 'Kaos' Ward sent him sideways and off. The youngster kept the Bel Group Falcon pointing in the right direction but did make heavy enough contact with the wall to dislodge the front guard. A couple of laps later he was called into the pits with bodywork flailing.

A great climax to the race - and a possible win for Kofoed - was spoiled when the race was unexpectedly cut short, but nobody could begrudge Rocketman the win, and his first one at that. He led seven of eight laps at the ITM 400 Hamilton race a few years ago before a timing chain failed, so winning at Pukekohe in front of a crowd of 25,000 or so was a suitable payback.

Kofoed was a delighted - if frustrated second. "One more lap - just one more lap" was all the youngster could say afterwards.

Mike Lightfoot held on for third, and Kris Walton drove well to recover to fifth, which became fourth when team mate John penny was given a post-race 50 second penalty for some barging on the first lap. Geoff ‘SOS’ Spencer took fifth despite some frontal damage, while Jeremy ‘Lost It’ Gray took his best result of the weekend to date with sixth. Brett ‘The Scud’ Rudd took seventh, keeping himself in the mix for a Round podium finish, while Glen ‘Coyote’ Collinson nursed his Coyote home in eighth. Dirty Dave Kernohan finished ninth in his Kernohan heavy Haulage Falcon, while Peter ‘Kaos’ Ward lost the clutch master cylinder push rod – a $10 part – and could only manage tenth. The penalised Penny and wounded Barry rounded out the finishers.

ends

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