Peter Ward wins V8 Utes season opener
There had been 2 different winners in Saturday’s 2 races. So it was all down to Sunday’s racing at the Speedworks Event at Hampton Downs to decide the RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes racing championship Round One.
Brad & Greg Kroef lined up on the front row For Race 3 on a wet track. It was so slippery, Peter Ward spun on the formation lap. But as the race started, Ward accelerated through both Kroefs to snatch the lead by turn 1.
On lap 2, Peter Ward was stretching his lead but he wasn’t shaking off Brad Kroef. Meanwhile an all-nighter working on the blue Timber World Holden was paying dividends as Shane Dias posted the fastest lap. He snuck past Greg Kroef and charged off in pursuit of the front runners. By lap 6, he’d passed Brad Kroef leaving Peter Ward as his next target.
On the 7th lap, Dias ducked underneath Ward on Turn 2 and snatched the lead on a drying track. Ward wasn’t done, ducking & weaving until he found a way back into the lead. Dias took it back on lap 8, but their duel had allowed the traffic behind to catch up. But in their exuberance, the chasing pack of Phil Ross and the Kroefs locked up and ran wide onto the grass on Turn 6, leaving Shane unchallenged for the chequered flag.
That meant it was down to Race 4 to decide the weekend’s winner. On a dry track, Brad Kroef lined up alongside Peter Ward on the front row, but it was Ward with the better start, while Shane Dias sprinted into 2nd. As Ward extended his lead, Dias couldn’t shake off the tag team of Brad and Greg Kroef.
By lap 3, Ward was well ahead, but Brad Kroef was breathing down the neck of Shane Dias, setting up a classic Holden Ford battle. Then coming into the sweeper on Lap 6, Brad Kroef ran around the outside of Dias to steal 2nd. With several laps remaining, there was plenty of time, but Kroef had plenty of speed and consolidated his 2nd place all the way to the chequered flag.
With so many lead changes over the weekend, no single driver had achieved a knock-out punch to win Round One. That meant it was down to a points decision with Peter Ward taking out a hard-earned win.