Best Weekend Ever Says Lobb

Caine Lobb from Whangarei headed back north from Pukekohe Park Raceway afer a weekend which will be looked upon over the years as one of his best.

"It was a bloody mint weekend, probably the best I've had in the utes." he said after claiming the lead in the ENZED V8 Racing Utes series after the opening round.

"And it was good to be back in the tier one with the crowds and TV3 coverage, we got plenty of attention for us and the Mark Cromie Holden (race car)." he said.

After setting the second best time in qualifying behind Chris Pither, the randomly selected grid spot from a marble draw remarkably put Lobb at the very back of the pack for the first race of the weekend and quite ironically placed main rival and current champion Pither into pole.

An unpredicted turn of events saw Pither put his car into the sand trap at the end of the Pukekohe back straight after suffering a mechanical failure. This handed the lead to Mike Lightfoot who later lost it to storming young gun and new comer to the series Chris Hanley.

Lobb's ability to make his way up from the back of the pack saw him slip ahead of ten cars into fifth place by the final lap. With a mere half a lap remaining and never one to say never Lobb took on Graham Beirne and Mike Lightfoot coming out of the hairpin and fought his way past them through the final corners and down the pit straight stealing third place at the flag.

For the second race of the weekend the marble draw was reversed placing Lobb at the front and Pither at the rear. Lobb shot away from the pack at the start and never looked back claiming the chequered flag once more with not a whisper of a challenge.

The third and final race was not going to be so easy and although Lobb was to start from the front again, the accumulated points grid placings meant this time he was in close with the fastest of the weekend thus far.

However once again he sprinted away and started to increase the gap between himself and the pack. Main rival Chris Pither had some work to do and cars to pass but he soon cleared the pack and began to charge in on Lobb's lead.

With a lead of over five seconds and after taking the fastest laps in the first two races he was not likely to be caught unless something went wrong for him.

Disaster happened when the safety car was brought out to clear debris off the circuit and Lobb was forced to forfeit his margin and restart with Pither polishing his front bumber on Lobb's tail end.

Although getting away cleanly at the restart Lobb was unable to hold off Pither's determined charge who stole the lead from him.

The Northlander answered with a massive run down pit straight in the next lap to reclaim the front spot and held it solidly countering attack after attack from Pither.

In what was quite likely the most exciting race of the weekend at Motorsport New Zealand's Premier Race Championship Series, Lobb held his own through the closing laps.

He crossed the line in front of the current title holder Pither, beat his own lap record of last year with a one minute 08.516 seconds and most importantly took the lead in the series.

Lobb leads with 277 points to Christchurch's Simon Beirne in second place with 241. Auckland driver and rookie Chris Hanley is third with 227 while Chris Pither from Palmerston North is fourth with 206.

The ENZED V8 Racing Ute Series heads to Powerbuilt International Raceway, Ruapuna for round two of six on the 26-28th November.


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