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Agony and ecstasy but Collinson still second overall

Glen Collinson had a weekend of highs and lows at the second round of the RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes Championship over the weekend at Hampton Downs. After messing up the first race he bounced back to take a win and a top five result in the final two races at the North Waikato track.

The topsy turvy weekend was still enough to keep the Hamilton racer in second spot in the points table behind Holden rival Paul Manuell, who just like the first round at Pukekohe at the end of last year, won two of the races to Collinson’s one.

After qualifying third for the first race on Saturday and confident of progressing and challenging Manuell in the race, Glen dropped the clutch too early and stalled on the grid. Once the field of 14 other utes had miraculously got by without any contact he was able to get going and set off after the pack. He’d caught the backmarkers within a lap and gradually fought his way back to seventh in the race.

“That one was all down to me,” he said. “No excuses really but I did what I could to recover and was pretty happy with the drive through the field. I had no choice really, I had to go as hard as I could and get as many points as I could, especially as Paul was long gone at the front.”

Collinson went from zero to hero in the second race on Sunday morning, which featured a grid with the top ten finishers from Saturday’s race starting in reverse order. That left Glen third on the grid and he made the most if the opportunity to take the lead on the first lap and pull away from the field to take his second win of this season’s championship.

In the final race – from a grid based on points scored over the weekend – he started fifth and fought an epic battle with Andrew Porter’s similar Ford Falcon for the duration of the race. Try as he might, and he made several big attempts to pass, Porter’s defence remained strong and Glen had to settle for a fighting fifth.

“It was a good race to be fair and I’m sure Andrew enjoyed it as much as I did. We’ve had a couple of moments at races on this track in the past and that one did too but it was fun. We were both pushing as hard as we could, it was that simple.”

Manuell has extended his lead over Collinson’s Panorama Motorsport racer at the half way point of the championship, with the next round in a couple of weeks at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon.

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