Matt ‘Stinger’ Spratt came out fighting in the first race of the weekend, and dominated it in the Primogrow Ford Falcon FG.
In the spotlight after his part in the Hampton Downs carnage, Spratt delivered the perfect race to go with an impeccable qualifying performance. A great start followed by a series of blistering laps gave him a comfortable margin over Paul ‘Auto’ Manuell in his Super Freight Partmaster Holden and he never looked back. Once ahead, Spratt maintained a strong pace to keep the margin to Manuell static and set about protecting his tyres and ute for the next races. It was an impressive performance in difficult circumstances.
Fellow front row starter Glen ‘Coyote’ Collinson didn’t make a good getaway at all, the car spluttering at the key moment and dropping Glen down into the pack. He recovered through turns three and four and settled into fifth. Ultimately he was unable to find a way past either Richard Moore or Peter Ward, but the team would have been satisfied with the strong race pace he showed.
Behind Manuell, it was “Kaos’ Ward who found his form once again and looked pretty solid in third place early on in the Ward Demolition Holden. As the race progressed, championship leader Moore in the Mitre 10 Trade Holden and Collinson both began to reel him in with better race pace, but Kaos clung on well and did just enough to stay ahead, with Moore not taking any particular risks with a second straight championship in sight.
Behind the lead five there was a fierce race long scrap between the Holdens of Andrew Porter (Porter Hire), Chris Hanley (Placemakers) and Alexandra Whitley (LDV Vans) which was eventually resolved in Porter’s favour. Once through Porter also showed demon race pace as he closed in on the Collinson, Moore and Ward scrap, but he ran out of time to get himself into a position to challenge. Hanley meanwhile pulled off the move of the race with an epic pass on Whitley through the complex leading onto the back straight to get himself up to seventh.
The mid-field pack were also scrapping throughout, with Geoff ‘SOS’ Spencer claiming a relatively lonely ninth in the Coresteel Buildings Holden, followed by the Kernohans with Jeff tenth and ‘Dirty’ Dave eleventh. Simon Ussher got sucked into the pack at the start and lost a couple of places to finish twelfth, closely followed by Jason “Mario’ Land in the second Panorama Ford, with the Ryco 82C Racing Fords of Brent ‘Bullet’ Main and Dave ‘Shaggy’ Lowe rounding out the field in fourteenth and fifteenth.
Race 2 on Sunday morning will see Jeff Kernohan on pole with Geoff Spencer alongside on the front row.
PORTERGROUP V8 UTE SERIES –
ROUND 4 PUKEKOHE PARK RACE 1
1 Matt Spratt Primogrow Ford
2 Paul Manuell Super Freight Partmaster Holden
3 Peter Ward Ward Demolition Holden
4 Richard Moore Mitre 10 Trade Holden
5 Glen Collinson DNA Paints Panorama Ford
6 Andrew Porter PorterGroup Holden
7 Chris Hanley Placemakers Holden
8 Alexandra Whitley LDV Vans Holden
9 Geoff Spencer Coresteel Buildings Holden
10 Jeff Kernohan KCH Ford
11 Dave Kernohan KCH Ford
12 Simon Ussher United Freight Ford
13 Jason Land Betta Autoparts Ford
14 Brent Main Ryco 82C Racing Ford
15 David Lowe Ryco 82C Racing Ford