DEFENDING CHAMPION BACKS UP BOLD PREDICTION

Date: 23 NOVEMBER 2008Embargo: noneRace: ROUND 1 MANFEILD PARK - DAY 3 REPORTDEFENDING CHAMPION BACKS UP BOLD PREDICTIONDefending ENZED V8 Utes Champion, Matthew Lockwood of Palmerston North, made a bold statement prior to the opening round of the 2008/2009 series when he said he wanted to win every round this season. However the man known in the series as Phantom backed up his words on the track when he won the opening round at Manfeild Park in Feilding this weekend.Lockwood won two of today's three races with the other going to Whangarei driver Caine Lobb - the Ginger Ninja. The round proved that the main protagonists from last year's series will fight every inch of the way in this year's title battle with the added presence of Graham Beirne (Snr Burner) and possibly one or two other new faces to keep them honest.After initial disappointment with a qualifying effort that saw him fourth on the grid in his Sola H2O Holden yesterday Lockwood compiled a sequence of second, first, third and first over the four races to accumulate 144 points to end the opening round with a sixteen point lead in the championship. Meanwhile Lobb, who won the other race today, allied to a third and two fourth placings over the course of the round is second in the championship in his Mark Cromie Holden. The surprise packet of the weekend, Graham Beirne in his John Jones Steel Falcon, is third in the series - eight points behind Lobb. Snr Burner as he is known, caused a sensation when he qualified second fastest yesterday and maintained the momentum all weekend with two thirds and two fourths.Graham's son Simon Beirne is fourth in the points in his Team McDonald's Falcon. Simon (Jnr Burner) looked set for a dominant start to the series when he qualified fastest and won yesterday's race. However he was t-boned in this morning's contest and had it not been for the camaraderie of the V8 Utes series which saw many teams coming to his aid he could well have been out for the day. However, while the non-finish dented his points haul he came back for two second placings in the final two races of the day in a vehicle that was far from perfect.Behind the Beirne duo Dunedin driver Craig Paterson, Mack Peach and James 'Huggi' Urquhart of Auckland, Mike Pero - the Loan Ranger - of Christchurch and Palmerston North's Geoff Spencer are all closely bunched on points after the weekend's action.Lockwood was "pretty happy" as he left the circuit this evening. "It went very well," he said. The young driver also raced in the Mazda Pro 7 Plus class all weekend with more good results and said he was not tired at all at the end of the day. Lockwood say's racing in the ENZED V8 Utes Series has got "quite serious" and he has been knuckling down by going to the gym regularly. That approach is obviously paying dividends.Racing in the opening round of the 2008/2009 ENZED V8 Utes Series was typically exciting all weekend with plenty of the action that has made the series a crowd favourite in it's short history in New Zealand.The second round of the series takes place at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland over the weekend of 5-7 December.ENZED V8 Utes are powered by The Rock and fuelled by Demon Energy.The series commercial partners include ENZED, The ROCK FM, Yokohama - the official tyre supplier, Penrite Lubricants - the series official oil and Demon Energy. Points after Round 1:Matthew Lockwood144Mack Peach105David Kernohan86Caine Lobb128James Urquhart100Peter Robb76Graham Beirne120Mike Pero99Bob Grove25Simon Beirne109Geoff Spencer98 Peter Ward24Craig Paterson108Frank Van Shaijik90Ash Cairns22QUALIFYING - TOP 61stSimon Beirne (Jnr Burner)Ford1.20.4612ndGraham Beirne (Snr Burner)Ford1.20.6213rdCaine Lobb (Ginger Ninja)Holden1.20.8824thMatthew Lockwood (Phantom)Holden1.21.0515thMack Peach (BOMBA)Holden1.21.1056thMike Pero (The Loan Ranger)Holden1.21.662RACE 1 - 8 LAPS - TOP 6

  • 1st - Simon Beirne
  • 2nd - Matthew Lockwood
  • 3rd - Graham Beirne
  • 4th - Caine Lobb
  • 5th - Mack Peach
  • 6th - Craig Paterson

RACE 2 - 8 LAPS - TOP 6

  • 1st - Matthew Lockwood
  • 2nd - James Urquhart
  • 3rd - Graham Beirne
  • 4th - Caine Lobb
  • 5th - Mike Pero
  • 6th - Geoff Spencer

RACE 3 - 8 LAPS - TOP 6

  • 1st - Caine Lobb
  • 2nd - Simon Beirne?
  • 3rd - Matthew Lockwood
  • 4th - Graham Beirne
  • 5th - Craig Paterson
  • 6th - Mike Pero

RACE 4 - 8 LAPS - TOP 6

  • 1st - Matthew Lockwood
  • 2nd - Simon Beirne
  • 3rd - Caine Lobb
  • 4th - Graham Beirne
  • 5th - Mack Peach
  • 6th - Craig Paterson

For more information please utilise the following:

ENZED NZV8 Utes Calendar 2008/2009: Round 1: Manfeild Park, Feilding - 21-23 November 2008Round 2: Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland - 5-7 December 2008 (Thunder In The Park)Round 3: Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo - 23-25 January 2009 (A1GP World Cup Of Motorsport)Round 4: Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Ruapuna, Christchurch - 6-8 March 2009Round 5: Timaru International Motor Raceway, Levels, Timaru - 13-15 March 2009 (Truck Race Meeting)Round 6: Teretonga Park, Invercargill - 20-22 March 2009Round 7: Hampton Downs, Waikato - 1-3 May 2009 - FINAL