Tuesday, Dec 4 04:08pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Alexandra Whitley shooting for V8 Ute Series title

One of the country's top women racing drivers, Alexandra Whitley, is raring to go as the V8 Ute season is set to get underway this weekend at Pukekohe Park.


The 25 year old is backing herself for a shot at one of the hardest New Zealand motorsport championship titles to win.

Entering her second season in the category, Whitley has purchased her own Holden Commodore VE racing ute. This year she's teamed up with experienced campaigners Brett Rudd and two-time championship winner Paul Manuell with guidance from championship winning engineer Kerry Holland to form RAM Racing.

"I’m looking forward to learning from the best in the business about every aspect of racing," Whitley said, who will have LDV Vans on board for the entire four round campaign as her title sponsor.


"I have so much to learn from everyone in the team - from driving, to sponsorship and race prep. It’s going to be challenging but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am extremely fortunate to have them all take me under their wing and show me the ropes.

"This championship is hard fought and there's little room for error so I am aiming to be consistent throughout the whole season, which means aiming to finish in the top five for every race.


"I certainly count myself as a championship contender. Last year was about learning this year I’m giving it a red hot go.

"I have been training both physically and mentally for the season, but also the future me to become a better driver and person.


My fitness has improved leaps and bounds which helps me in the car to deal with the stresses we are put through. My trainer Alison Storey has also worked her magic on driver related weights and cardio fitness. I'm totally ready."

Also on board for the season are Storey Sport, Physio Moves, Kiwi Print, Kayne Barry Motorsport, Anytime Fitness Takanini, The Good Home, Power 2 Potential, Bendev LTD, Flex Group, Absolute Panel and Paint and Wattbike, although Alexandra's partner and fellow racer Peter Bennett will be the one providing the most support, as she explained.

"He's always around during race weekends helping and supporting and allowing me to concentrate on my driving.


"When he's racing I will be swapping the helmet for tools and crewing for him in the BMW E30 Series, so between the two of us we have a busy summer ahead.


"I do have some opportunities that have come up in Australia which I am very excited about and I’m also working on an endurance drive for winter."

The V8 Utes' 12th season begins this weekend and will once again see drivers battle it out in a classic Ford vs Holden battle, this time over four rounds.


After Pukekohe the series will head South to Cromwell and the stunning Highlands Motorsport Park for round two before heading to the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting in February at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon. It concludes at the domestic season finale at Hampton Downs in March.


Photo: Geoff Ridder