Heading to Taupo I was quietly confident we had good car speed after such a positive test the previous Wednesday but still apprehensive that like the Timaru track, Taupo is known as a Ford hunting ground due to the much more favourable gearbox ratios.
Qualifying: The track was really cold which meant it was hard to get heat into the tyres. I slowly started to get quicker each lap finally setting my fastest lap on the last lap before the chequered flag came out. I did the best I could putting the Brother/Placemakers Holden in P3. We were the only Holden in the top 8, so I was pretty happy to be at the pointy end of the field.
Race 1: Starting from grid 3, I got a good start but couldn't manage to take advantage of it as the gaps in front of me closed fairly quickly. I settled into P3 and then set about making my way to the front. I had good race pace and was putting a lot of pressure on Buzz, on lap 4 Buzz made a bit of a mistake going through the very quick A1 corner and I was all over him to take advantage of this to put me in 2nd place. With 2 laps remaining I chased down the Australian Kris Walton and on the last lap once again around the very fast A1 corner Walton managed to go to wide and spin the Ute on the marbles collecting on the outside of the track. I couldn't believe what had just happened, which put me in the lead with only a handful of corners remaining and comfortably took the chequered flag for the win.
Marble Draw: I drew grid 10.
Race 2: I had a terrible start and managed to lose a couple of places, but from then on I was only moving forward. I slowly cut my way through the field eventually making it up to 3rd position at the chequered flag.
Reverse Marble Draw: Grid 4.
Race 3: From the outside of the track it's hard not to get pushed out wide off the start which is what happened to me which dropped me back to 5th. I then settled down and managed to pick a couple off, a few laps later I was in a battle for 2nd with Matt Lockwood who is a former NZ V8 Ute & V8 Challenge Cup Champion. We had good pace and I was just putting the move on him for 2nd when the red flag came out because of a huge incident back down the field. This meant we had to settle for 3rd place.
Race 4: This race is based on points accumulated from over the weekend. This meant I was starting from P2 with Kris Walton on P1. I got a good start but so did Walton, I managed to hold 2nd which is where I stayed for the entire race with the Ford of Walton having too much pace to be able to make a move on him for the lead.
Finishing 2nd for weekend meant we extended our championship lead, and moved one step closer to the ultimate goal, claiming the NZ V8 Ute Championship, but with two rounds or eight races still to go there is plenty of time for the highs and lows of motorsport to play out.