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'Bit of fun' could take Kennett to title

BY TONY COFFIN
Last updated 13:14 11/03/2009
SPEEDING: After a brilliant round at Manfeild last week, Brady Kennett heads into this weekend's final round of the national production championship at Pukekohe level top on points.

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When Brady Kennett bought his Mitsubishi EVO 9 his plan was to take part in the Targa rally not go back circuit racing.

"I got the car to do the Targa and somehow entered in the national production championship," Kennett said. "I only raced in the early rounds for a bit of fun, and to set the car up for the Targa.

"But now I'm in the position to win the title, I'll go and do some testing."

After a brilliant round at Manfeild last week, Kennett heads into this weekend's final round of the national production championship at Pukekohe level top on points with Auckland's Zane Coppins.

At Manfeild, Kennett picked up two wins and a second placing while Coppins finished behind him in each race.

Kennett was surprised he had been able to pull level with Coppins, especially after the first two rounds in the South Island where he suffered computer problems.

"I thought with a good weekend we could have cut the lead to single digits, but I didn't expect to turn a 38-point deficit completely around."

Kennett said he was expecting a far tougher battle this weekend, where Coppins would be on his home track.

"My goal is to win the round, I've been the quickest at each of the last three rounds. But I definitely want to finish in front of Zane in each of the three races."

Kennett said driving the Mitsubishi EVO 9 was different from his racing days, which have included a New Zealand Grand Prix title as well as driving V8s.

"They're a funny old car, you do have to get your head around them. The (turbo) boost makes them a bit different to race," he said.

"At one of the South Island rounds I had a computer problem and that led to a boost issue where it was above the minimum and I was penalised."

Kennett, who began racing in 1991 in Formula Ford, said he was enjoying his first run back at national level since he retired at the end of the 2005-06 season. In 1993 he had a nasty crash on the Wellington waterfront circuit and was in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital for a short time.

One event Kennett is seriously contemplating racing in is the 12-hour event at Bathurst, in NSW, next February.

"I've never raced at Bathurst and we're looking at sending the car over there for the meeting. We need to have everything in place two months before the race," he said. "The biggest thing is with the engine. The 12-hour is like a season's running in one race and we'd need to give it a freshen up, but it wouldn't be too hard on the car."

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- Manawatu Standard

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