NZ V8 titles for Aussie Super2 youngsters

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 11/03/2019
  • By Supercars.com, pics: BNT V8s

Dunlop Super2 Series runners Jack Smith and Brenton Grove both picked up honours during the 2018/19 New Zealand BNT V8 Championship finale on Sunday.

In the final round at Hampton Downs, 19-year-old Smith secured the championship title despite a shaky start.

Smith, who competes for Brad Jones Racing in Super2, was classified just eighth in Race 1 following a post-race time penalty for contact with title rival Nick Ross.

He steadied in Race 2 to finish fifth and secure the title, before ending his campaign with a second in the final.

“The second year in the championship was always going to be the year for us,” said Smith, who’d won Rookie of the Year honours in the previous season.

“We had a lot of things to get on top of last year and we were super confident coming into this season.

“The team did an amazing job in the off-season, they put a lot of effort into both cars and this was the intention.

“It feels really good to be able to give it to them.”

Grove, who drives with Triple Eight in Super2, meanwhile took out the Rookie of the Year honours for 2018/19 aboard a Richards Team Motorsport Toyota Camry.

After a troubled start to the campaign, the 21-year-old won Round 4 at Teretonga and eventually did enough to finish fourth outright in the series.

“It was an up and down season; we had pace but mechanical faults and driver error meant we weren’t able to race the other guys,” said Grove.

“You don’t get to race through the off-season too often and since Newcastle last year I think I’ve had one weekend out of a race car; it’s a dream, can’t really ask for much more than that.

“It was awesome being over here in New Zealand and it has definitely furthered my learning.

“Hopefully I can carry that forward this year in Super2 and keep moving up the grid.

“Doing the BNT V8s Championship last year worked for Jack (Smith) and he was the benchmark for why we came over here to race over the off-season.
“Adelaide was a lot better the other weekend than what it was last year; we were in the top ten.

“If we can keep building on those results then doing the BNT V8s will be vindicated for sure.”

Smith and Grove head into the second round of the Dunlop Super2 Series at Barbagallo on May 2-4 sitting 10th and 16th in the standings respectively.

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