Hitech Motorsport New Zealand Pro 7 Plus Championship 2009/2010 Review
Once again congratulations to Matt Lockwood on winning the New Zealand Pro 7 Plus Championship for the second year in a row. Matt didn't have it all his own way this season and was pushed hard all season by fellow Hitech Motorsport driver Chris Hanley, who finished a very close second in the championship.
The championship was fiercely competitive this season, with several past champions returning to the series. At some rounds there was less than a second a lap covering the first 8 or so cars.
Matt picked up where he left of last season, dominating the early part of the season, winning the first two rounds. Before past champion Dean McMillan put in a good performance at the following meeting to win round 3, the first time a Hitech Motorsport prepared car hasn't won a round since the 2007/2008 season. Matt was back on form at round 4, picking up the win again.
After coming close all season with a string of second place finishes, it was good to see Chris Hanley finally have an overall win at round 5. His strong performance carrying on to the next event where he picked up another win.
The championship was now a two horse race at the final round at Taupo. Was it going to be Matt or Chris. Qualifying was tight with Chris narrowly beating Matt, Chris went on to win the first race. Matt turned the tables in race 2, narrowly beating Chris to the flag.
The championship had come down to the last race of the season, Matt was off pole, with Chris starting second. Matt got a great start, and held Chris off to win the final race, the round and the championship.
This season we prepared and maintained the cars of both Matt Lockwood and Chris Hanley. Carrying out tuning and suspension set up work. We also provided track support/service and advice at all of the rounds. It was very rewarding after all the hard work, on and off the track, to finish 1st and 2nd in one of the closest championships in recent years.
Both Matt and Chris are some of the most talented young drivers we have worked with. Both drivers have bright racing careers ahead of them, so look for big things from these two in the future.
Special mention here also for series rookie, and Hitech customer, Brad Lathrope, who in his first season in the Pro 7 championship picked up rookie of the year, as well as finishing an impressive 4th in the championship, behind some of the established front runners in the class.
No word yet whether either Matt or Chris will be back next season, both drivers working towards moving up to Motorsport New Zealand Tier One championship classes next season.