top of page
  • Writer's pictureGlenn Churches

Another V8 Utes title for Brad Kroef.

Updated: May 21

Brad Kroef claimed his second NZV8 Utes championship at a drama-filled season decider at Hampton Downs. With the three title contenders separated by just 7 points coming into the weekend, the finale was destined to be a ripper. Plus, with several new drivers joining the series this season and some much-improved performances, Brad Kroef certainly had to earn his title.

Photo Credits: @dillonphotonz


Alex Fougere (3rd in the points) was fastest in Qualifying then won the first race on Saturday climbing to second in the points race. That meant Sundays’ races would be critical.

Sunny skies meant perfect conditions for the morning’s reverse-grid race – yet it began in less than perfect fashion. After the rolling start, Kyan Davie and Brad Kroef came together on turn one. Next, Kyan and Alex Fougere collided, then Alex’s steering wheel came off. That’s right  - off.


“It’s pretty hard to put the steering wheel back on and realign it during a race,” Alex admitted afterwards. “It was heart-stopping.” Fortunately it wasn’t race-stopping as Alex soldiered on - critical championship points were at stake.

Meanwhile Simon Ussher had found his way to the front and remained there unchallenged – the contenders were too busy squabbling for minor placings to threaten the lead.


Paul Fougere & Stu Monteith came together on the sweeper, right on the last lap, damaging the rim on Paul’s Napa Auto Parts Holden while Stu slid into the kitty litter.

Simon Ussher took the chequered flag, Phill Ross overtook his way up to second, while Brad Kroef - unable to get around Phill - settled for 3rd bagging more points and consolidating his championship lead.


As for the altercation between Alex and Kyan, there were no hard feelings. After the race, they laughed it off with a hug and a reassuring show of support; a vivid reminder that in V8 Ute racing, fierce competitors on track remain firm friends after the chequered flag.


With so much at stake, for the final race on Sunday, the V8 Utes managed to get the circuit all to themselves after a season sharing the track with the TA2s and Open V8 categories.

Reigning champion Brad Kroef was on the front row, but in the rolling start, Phill Ross got the jump and shot to the lead. Brad didn’t flinch, quickly regaining the lead into turn one. Also on a charge was Kyan Davie - after starting 6th, he was up to 5th by the second lap. When Greg Kroef locked-up coming into the dipper, it unlocked the door to 4th place and Kyan marched through.


Meanwhile, Phill Ross also had a point to prove - and points to be won. Phill was throwing everything into it. But after sitting in 3rd, rounding the sweeper alongside Greg Kroef, Phill went wide, slipped off into the kitty litter, and with it, his 4th place in the championship slipped away.


After ten incident-packed laps, Alex Fougere muscled the Ward Demolition Holden ute to the chequered flag, Kyan Davie fought a clinical race elevating his Yale Forklift-backed Holden to 2nd, while Brad Kroef cruised to 3rd. Critically he’d done enough – and the V8 Utes championship was his.

As Brad said after winning his second V8 Utes title in a row, “I had to work harder for it this year. It’s a relief. Very satisfying.” So as the V8 Utes head to winter hibernation, there are some big plans in the pipeline for an even bigger 2024/25 season. Watch this space.



Race Two


1st 

Simon Ussher

 

2nd 

Phill Ross

+1.605

3rd 

Brad Kroef

+2.303

4th 

Greg Kroef

+2.917

5th 

Blair Gribble-Bowing

+6.613

6th 

Kyan Davie

+6.899

7th 

Bruce McRae

 

8th 

Alex Fougere

 

9th 

Daniel Ludlam

 

10th 

Paul Fougere

 

11th 

Jeremy Hunt

 

DNF

Stuart Monteith

 


Race Three


1st 

Alex Fougere

 

2nd 

Kyan Davie

+0.450

3rd 

Brad Kroef

+3.085

4th 

Greg Kroef

+7.669

5th 

Simon Ussher

+7.829

6th 

Daniel Ludlam

+8.359

7th 

Blair Gribble-Bowring

+11.429

8th 

Stuart Monteith

+17.142

9th 

Paul Fougere

+28.346

10th 

Jeremy Hunt

+4 laps

DNF

Phill Ross

0

DNF

Bruce McRae

0


NZV8 Utes 2023/24 Championship Points


Champion

Brad Kroef

943 Points

2nd 

Alex Fougere

922    “

3rd 

Greg Kroef

895    “

4th 

Simon Ussher

684    “

5th 

Phill Ross

682    “

6th 

Stu Monteith

579    “

7th 

Paul Fougere

558    “

8th 

Kyan Davie

508    “

9th 

Bruce McRae

489    “

10th 

Blair Gribble-Bowing

460    “

11th 

Daniel Ludlam

417    “

12th 

Jeremy Hunt

210    “

13th

Grant Bowring

122    “


12 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page