Date: 22 NOVEMBER 2008Embargo: noneRace: ROUND 1 MANFEILD PARK PREVIEWJNR BURNER MAKES WINNING START TO V8 UTES SERIESLast year's series runner-up, Simon Beirne of Christchurch, scorched to victory to make the best possible start to the 2008/2009 ENZED V8 Utes Series at Manfeild Park in Feilding today.In hot conditions the Christchurch driver, known as 'Jnr Burner', navigated his Team McDonalds Ford Falcon to the chequered flag more than four and a half seconds ahead of last year's champion and hometown hero Matthew Lockwood in his Sola H2O Holden. Enroute to victory Beirne set the fastest lap of the race. It was a good day for the entire Beirne family as Graham "Snr Burner', Simon's father, started the race alongside his son in his John Jones Steel Falcon to make an all Ford, all Burner, front row for today's championship opener.Lockwood, aka 'Phantom', qualified fourth fastest behind the Burners and Whangarei's Caine Lobb, the Ginger Ninja, in a Mark Cromie Holden. Mack 'BOMBA' Peach was next in his Super Freight Holden while series newcomer Mike Pero, 'The Loan Ranger' qualified an excellent sixth on debut.At the start it was father leading son initially before Snr Burner dropped to fifth on the opening lap. Jnr Burner then took the lead that he would hold to the flag. Lockwood quickly made his way to second and became secure there for the remainder of the race while Graham Beirne climbed back through the field, passing Lobb at Higgins Corner on the final lap to finish third. Mack "BOMBA Peach and Craig Paterson (Paddy) rounded out the top six. Paterson, of Dunedin, was actually racing the new Ford ute of NZ V8 Ute Racing Chairman, Ash Cairns today. Cairns (Chairman) was not comfortable in the new vehicle so remained in his old ute, allowing Paddy to not only run the newer vehicle but beat him in it.Jnr Burner attributed his great start to the series to the driver tuition work Team Manager Andy Neale has done in the build-up to the series. Neale also spends a lot of time talking to Simon via the radio whilst he is racing, something that helps the Team McDonalds driver.Peter Robb (Rocketman) and Bob Grove (Sly & Dirty) had a coming together during today's race but "kissed and made up" in true Utes fashion.Tomorrow, the ENZED V8 Utes Series has three more 8 lap races at Manfeild to complete Round 1 of the series. In the marble draw for the first of those races tomorrow morning the Wildcard Racing Holden's of Aucklanders Peter Ward (Kaos) and James Urquhart (Huggi) have gained the front row starting positions.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.Lindsay Beeron behalf of NZV8 Ute Racing021 351 499Phone numbers for individual drivers involved in the series for the purposes of interviews and photographs of some competitors can be obtained via - 021 351 499 or lindsay.beer@xtra.co.nzQUALIFYING - 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

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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