NZ Utes: Beirne Manfeild Park race 1 report


The Manfeild Park motor racing circuit in Feilding has always been a venue that has brought out the best in Simon 'Jnr Burner' Beirne of Christchurch and today was no exception.

Beirne qualified his Team McDonald's Falcon second fastest in this mornings qualifying session and then came through the field from well down the grid in this afternoons 8 lap race to score a third place finish on the demanding 3.03 kilometre circuit.

The race was a beauty with exciting action all the way and 'Junior' was one of the stars as he steered the striking Team McDonald's Falcon through the field to yet another podium finish. Coming into this weekends round of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge, the fifth of seven, Simon was second in the championship point standings behind Caine Lobb of Whangarei. Today Simon qualified ahead of Lobb and also finished ahead of him in the race to close the points deficit with two more races remaining tomorrow.

"The McDonald's Ute was in fine form and Mark was working on my ears," said Simon referring to his crew who were in full voice via radio during the race. "There is a championship here to win and I have to get some points off Caine. We tried to get as close as we possibly could in qualifying and that race was full on! I am very happy and fingers crossed we can have two good races tomorrow."

Following todays action Simon's father, Graham 'Snr Burner' Beirne, will not compete in his John Jones Steel Falcon tomorrow. Like Simon, Graham has always been very competitive at the Manfeild circuit, but today he struggled with a ute that was far from its best. The problems are a legacy of a shunt at Teretonga last month as Graham explains. "It was a massive hit. We were faced with a decision of whether to reshell the vehicle or fix the body. We went to a specialist who has a 3D platform and we decided to fix the body as long as we could get it to within 3mm of standard. Unfortunately after 91 hours of labour we are 37mm out on one side and 34 on the other. The engine cross members are not in line and we have had to drill new holes. The John Jones Steel Falcon just won't turn in and I have decided to take no part tomorrow. We will reshell it and have it ready for the next round at Taupo."

While 'Snr Burner' will not take part tomorrow 'Junior' and the Team McDonald's Falcon will look to continue their great start to the round in another 8 lap race at 11.00am before the finale over 12 laps at 1.10pm.

In addition to the support of major partners McDonald's and John Jones Steel in conjunction with Simon Beirne Limited, "Integrity in Vehicle Brokering," the team also has support from Bruce Raxworthy Panel & Paint, Chevron Quality Cars - Driving Excellence, Business IT Software Management Systems, Mag & Turbo Warehouse, NZVD Transport, Lets Get Graphic, DJ Hewitt Builders Ltd and Vehicle Safety Systems {VSS} And Compliance.

-source: pither/beer

NZ Utes: Series Manfeild Park race 1 report
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