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Kris 'Killa' Walton won his second race of the weekend in the UDC V8 Utes at Pukekohe this morning, but it was not enough to prevent Chris Hanley taking overall victory for the ITM 400 V8 Supercar round.
A reverse grid put Walton and Hanley to the back at the start, but in the early stages it was Peter Robb (Holden) and Geoff Spencer (Holden) who were going hard at it at the front of the field with Jeff Kernohan in fourth and Kris Walton closing rapidly behind.
As the cars came over the hill to end lap 3, Rob 'Big Rig' Gibson – running in the mid-field pack - went very wide and put four wheels on the grass. It was a classic 'Ford Mountain' accident as the car snapped sideways. Rob did his best to correct the slide but the Ford Falcon catapulted headlong into the barrier on the inside at high speed. It was a huge impact and there was genuine relief and appreciation from the crowd when Rob emerged unscathed.
The mess took a little while to clear and at the restart the cars looked to have all made it through the first sequence cleanly, but Dave Kernohan was hit hard by Brett Rudd and turned around – incurring the latter a drive through penalty which put him to the back. Walton, though was the man on the move, right on Peter Robb's tail as they entered the 8th lap and just a few corners later in the lead after a clean pass. He pulled away at a rapid rate of knots, clocking the race’s fastest lap on his final tour, some six tenths better than anyone else.
Hanley had found it harder to make his way through from the back of the grid than the Aussie Rookie of the Year, and was locked in behind Robb and Spencer as the Aussie maintained his relentless pace. Hammer Time battled his way to third with two laps to go and bagged a lap almost one second quicker than the rest in the process. Peter Robb though, was in no mood to give up second despite the charge to the front by the youngster and try as he might, Hammer Time could not get by. Robb defended fairly and robustly and at the line Hanley was still tucked in behind in third.
It was another dreadful day for Hamish Cross in the BNT Falcon - another mechanical problem putting him out - this time the gear selector breaking and coming off in his hand. Brett Rudd finished tenth after a drive through penalty.
UDC V8 Utes Race 3 - ITM 400
1. Kris Walton - Ford BF Falcon ute
2. Peter Robb - Holden Commodore ute
3. Chris Hanley - Holden Commodore ute
4. Geoff Spencer - Holden Commodore ute
5. Mike Lightfoot - Ford Falcon ute
6. James Urquart - Holden Commodore ute
7. Peter Ward - Holden Commodore ute
8. Bruce Kennedy - Ford Falcon ute
9. Jeff Kernohan - Ford Falcon ute
10.Brett Rudd - Holden Commodore ute
DNF Hamish Cross - Ford Falcon ute
DNF Dave Kernohan - Ford Falcon ute
DNF Rob Gibson - Ford Falcon ute