News & Events

» Brad Kroef Wins 3/3 in the RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes Season Opener at Taupo

– Press Release –

The weekend’s racing at Taupo International Motorsport Park was all about the dominance of Brad and Greg Kroef in the Utes championship. Brad Kroef won the round in convincing fashion with three wins from three races, but the other places on the podium were considerably harder fought battles.

The scene was set in Qualifying as Brad and Greg Kroef set the early pace. David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe was the big improver of the session, crashing the Kroef party to slot into second fastest. Phil Ross displayed his family’s racing pedigree posting the morning’s fourth best time, while Stu Monteith was fifth.

That meant the afternoon’s Race 1 would be the true test of who was hot – or not.  It didn’t disappoint. As the lights went out, Brad rocketed ahead. Phil Ross muscled his way between David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe and Greg Kroef. As they headed three wide into turn 1 the front bumper of Phil’s Holden connected with Shaggy’s Ford – a badly bruised door panel was the result, sending Shaggy out wide and dropping him from 2nd to 7th.

As the laps unfolded, a bruised and battered Shaggy was on a charge. Some aggressive manoeuvres accelerated him up to 5th, but Stu Monteith proved a formidable roadblock who clung onto 4th place.

Come the checkered flag, it was the Kroef’s comfortably in 1st and 2nd, with Phil Ross just behind them in third place. The stewards later ruled Phil had committed a grid box infringement and slapped him with a 5-second time penalty which advanced Stu Monteith up to 4th. Nonetheless, it was an outstanding drive from Phil which sets him up for a great season.

Race Two on Sunday morning was a reverse grid format which saw some frantic overtaking as Saturday’s front runners started at the back. The race began with Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere slipping down the inside of Bruce McRae into turn one to claim the lead. A hard-charging Phil Ross sliced through the mid-field and was into the lead by lap two.

Then Brad and Greg Kroef came swiftly into the frame, with Greg first challenging Phil Ross for the lead. But Phil was having none of it and managed to keep his nose in front – lap after lap, corner after corner.

By the fifth lap, Brad Kroef had worked his way up from the back of the grid to claim third and was now on the tail of his dad. It took a rare lock-up from Greg Kroef on lap six to allow Brad to get around him and into second place. Phil Ross was next on his list. Brad ultimately claimed his scalp as well, finishing the race a convincing 8.5 seconds ahead of Phil Ross.

After the race, the drama continued as David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe copped a 5-second penalty for an unsafe re-entry following an off-field incident mid-race.

Race Three rolled around at 2:30pm. Brad Kroef led from the start, but a tense battle unfolded just behind him. Stu Monteith had found a way through to second place after Greg Kroef ran wide on turn one. Phil Ross picked up third while the errant Greg Kroef chased hard in fourth place.

Come the third lap, Phil ran up the inside of Stu Monteith to claim second, but close behind him Greg Kroef was on a charge. First, he found a way around Stu, then on lap five got around Phil Ross. That’s how positions remained until the checkered flag. Brad ultimately won by a convincing 7.2 seconds over Father Greg. But positions third to fifth were considerably closer with barely a second separating Phil Ross from Stu Monteith and Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere.

So after Round One of the RYCO 24•7 V8 Utes championship, Brad and Greg Kroef are clearly the ones to beat. Though with several new drivers joining the series next round including past winners Brett Rudd and Glenn Collinson, life will be made considerably more difficult for this weekend’s winners. Next stop is Round Two at Pukekohe on 24th – 26th March.

“What a tremendous start to the new Super Sprint Series, this was my first outing in this series and found the group of people exceptionally friendly and helpful. The racing was intense and the comradery refreshing. I was great to see some faces from work with David “Shaggy” Lowe, now a seasoned racer and Jeremy Hunt (also new to racing this year) both members of the RYCO network. What a weekend!”

– Simon Macleod, RYCO New Zealand General Manager

Brad Kroef 1.46.605
David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe 1.47.107
Greg Kroef 1.47.232
Phil Ross 1.48.384
Stu Monteith 1.48.774
Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere 1.49.380
Brent Main 1.49.775
Bruce McRae 1.50.072
Daniel Ludlam 1.50.115
Jeremy Hunt 1.50.665
Simon Macleod 1.57.358
1ST Brad Kroef
2ND Greg Kroef
3RD Stu Monteith
4TH Phil Ross
5TH David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe
6TH Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere
7TH Daniel Ludlam
8TH Bruce McRae
9TH Jeremy Hunt
DNF Brent Main
DNF Simon Macleod
1ST Brad Kroef
2ND Phil Ross
3RD Greg Kroef
4TH Stu Monteith
5TH Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere
6TH David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe
7TH Daniel Ludlam
8TH Bruce McRae
9TH Jeremy Hunt
10TH Simon Macleod
DNF Brent Main
1ST Brad Kroef
2ND Greg Kroef
3RD Phil Ross
4TH Stu Monteith
5TH Paul ‘Smokey’ Fougere
6TH David ‘Shaggy’ Lowe
7TH Bruce McRae
8TH Daniel Ludlam
9TH Jeremy Hunt
10th Simon Macleod
DNS Brent Main

Content credit to LIVE Advertiser – Glenn Churches who shares with us news reports about the event!
Photography Credit: Dillon Photo NZ

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