THE PORTERGROUP V8 Utes are back in action this coming weekend for their second round at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon.

And they're back with a hiss and a roar, a field of 17, a host of former champs, some new faces and some old. The category is also odds on to produce some of the best racing this weekend at the Grand Prix.

Heading the entry is former champion and current series leader Paul 'Auto' Manuell in the Partmaster Holden. After a weekend of tight racing at the first round before Christmas at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo, he leads the field ahead of this weekend.

His main challenegers at the first round were Panorama Motorsport's Glen 'Coyote' Collinson in the DNA Paints Ford FG and last year's champion Richard 'Danger' Moore aboard the Mitre 10 Trade Holden and they sit in second and third place respectively in the points. Both will be eager to take race wins and put the pressure on Manuell this weekend in Feilding. Sitting fourth in the table is Andrew 'Hireman' Porter, the experienced racer being the best of the rest behind the three leaders at Round 1 in his Holden. Former champ Chris 'Hammertime' Hanley sits in fifth, after a frustrating first race weekend in a Ford. Not used to race starts in the BF Falcon, he was unable get away from the lights cleanly and convert blinding qualifying and race speed into strong race results and will hoping to rectify that missing element this weekend.

Alexandra 'Skippy' Whitley mixed it with the blokes big time at Taupo, and showed her talent with a fine sixth for the round in her Holden. Geoff 'SOS' Spencer in his Holden is a circuit expert and could well be in for a big round this weekend too. Ford BF runners 'Dirty' Dave and Jeff 'Ripples' Kernohan should also go well, as should Simon 'The Bandit' Ussher and Jason 'Mario' Land in the second Panorama Ford. Sam 'Sammy' Filmore is also a good bet for a strong result as he finds his feet in the Alliance Holden.

Back for their first appearance of the season this weekend are Peter "Kaos' Ward, Matthew 'Stinger' Spratt and Brett 'The Scud' Rudd. Ward will be back in his regular Holden, as will Rudd in the Pallet Supplies ute, but Spratt, who raced in a Holden in the championship last season, makes his return in the very same Ford FG model he won one of the ute races at the Bathurst 1000 with last season. And watch out too for Brent Main making his category debut in the second Ryco 82C Ford Falcon BF replacing Conal Dempsey.


POS        NO.        DRIVER                                 UTE                        POINTS


1              15           Paul Manuell                      Holden                 97

2              17           Glen Collinson                   Ford                       93

3              1              Richard Moore                  Holden                 81

4              3              Andrew Porter                  Holden                 72

5              90           Chris Hanley                       Ford                       71

6              48           Alexandra Whitley           Holden                 61

7              12           David Kernohan                Ford                       54

8              69           Danny Stutterd                 Holden                 49

9              84           David Lowe                         Ford                       39

10=         22           Geoff Spencer                  Holden                 36

10=         21           Jeff Kernohan                   Ford                       36

12           18           Jason Land                          Ford                       33

13           82           Conal Dempsey                Ford                       30

14           23           Sam Fillmore                      Holden                 29

15           94           Simon Ussher                    Ford                       28

16           48           Matt Spratt                         Ford                       0

17           69           Peter Ward                         Holden                 0

18           99           Brett Rudd                          Holden                 0

19.          82           Brent Main                         Ford                       0