MOORE THE MAN TO BEAT AT PUKEKOHE

Reigning champion Richard 'Danger' Moore is in control of the 2017-2018 PORTERGROUP V8 championship title chase with one round to go this weekend, but isn't across the line yet with three races remaining at the Pukekohe finale - the Peter Robb Memorial Trophy round.

Two wins at the most recent round at Hampton Downs extended the Mitre 10 Trade Racing driver's lead out to 44 points, and it is former champion Paul 'Auto' Manuell now back up to second place in the chase after a win and two solid finishes in his rebuilt Super Freight Partmaster Holden.

With little set up or any testing time, Manuell put the Holden on pole for the first race of the weekend and was a force all weekend, and although he had a nightmare Manfeild round, is now back in the hunt should any wheels fall off the Moore wagon. Glen 'Coyote' Collinson was in a solid second place heading into Hampton Downs, but had a nightmare weekend being tipped out of contention on Saturday and then involved in the huge Brett Rudd crash in the second race on Sunday morning, which resulted in massive damage to the DNA Paints Ford Falcon FG and an end to his weekend - and effectively his championship chances.
 
The team have been working hard since the incident to rebuild the Ford, and it is hoped they could be back on the grid as soon as this weekend - a remarkable achievement from all involved at Panorama Motorsport.

Collinson's misfortune - and a run of good results - have promoted Andrew 'Hireman' Porter to a third place overall in his first full season of V8 ute racing, a remarkable achievement for the versatile, fast and experienced racer, who also just happens to be the series sponsor. He won his first race at Manfeild and has been a consistent point scorer, blending speed with good race craft. a remarkable achievement for the versatile, fast and experienced racer, who also just happens to be the series sponsor. He won his first race at Manfeild and has been a consistent point scorer, blending speed with good race craft.

Chris 'Hammertime' Hanley also got himself back into the picture having changed to a Holden for the Hampton Downs round. He'll be in the Holden again at Pukekohe and will be hoping to build on the results from Hampton Downs, where he reminded everyone why he was the champion in 2014.

Completing the top five after Hampton was the series best and only lady racer Alexandra 'Skippy' Whitley, who continues to impress with her skill and speed. A win cannot be too far away for the Aussie ace.

New racers Brent Main and Dave Lowe have been progressing well this season and should continue that on their first race visit to Pukekohe Park in a V8 ute. Jason Land should also continue his upward cycle in the second Panorama Ford.

The Kernohans and Geoff Spencer have also had their moments and could feature - Spencer particularly - and Matt Spratt and Simon Ussher in their newly arrived Ford Falcon FGs could also be near the front of the pack on the fast sweeps of the Pukekohe Park circuit. Peter "Kaos" Ward was disappointed with his crash at Hampton Downs last time out and will be out to prove a point this weekend.

A final thought here too for Brett "the Scud' Rudd, who has bowed out of V8 ute racing after the Pallet Supplies Holden was destroyed in the big crash on the Sunday morning at Hampton Downs. A big crash by any standards, the ute was unfortunately completely destroyed and beyond repair and Rudd himself was lucky to walk, or at least hobble, away from one of the biggest crashes in the history of the series. A real character of the series, and one of the most popular racers in the summer racing community, Brett will be remembered as the quiet achiever who got close to the title when the championship fight in 2015 came down to a final round fight between him and young Sam Barry.

Although defeated, Rudd was first to congratulate Barry after his win. That says it all about Rudd for series CEO Paul Isaac, who commented: 'That's really all you need to know about Brett Rudd. Brilliant guy, great racer and a part of the community who will always be welcome in our paddock."