Brothers have big chances

IN THE HUNT: The Cook brothers, Daniel (77G - pictured here) and Ethan (76G - pictured in the following picture in this gallery), will be hunting a New Zealand title at the Meeanee Speedway in Hawke’s Bay tomorrow and Wednesday nights, and will be considered serious contenders. File pictures by Liam Clayton

The Cook brothers will be serious contenders for the New Zealand saloon car championship title that will go on the line over two nights at the Meeanee Speedway in Hawke’s Bay.

Daniel (77G) and Ethan (76G) begin their campaigns with qualifying tomorrow night. The finals will be held on Wednesday.

Elder brother Daniel has been in scintillating form this season.

He goes into the championships as the new back-to-back North Island champion, a title he won again at Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui, this month.

“I’m feeling confident going in,” Daniel Cook said.

“It’s a strong 45-car field, so the aim at this stage is just to get through qualifying.

“Hopefully both Ethan and I can do that.

“Then on Wednesday night the aim for both of us would be to target a podium finish.

“I also hope the other Gisborne driver going to Hawke’s Bay, Hamish Moore (16G), gets through.”

None of the Gisborne drivers have managed to get on the national podium before.

“I have been fifth twice, and sixth, so this year I will be battling hard to get into the top three,” Daniel said.

“The car’s going really well. It’s in top shape, so I think it’s going to be up to me to drive well enough to first of all qualify and then do well in the finals.”

Three groups of 15 cars will be drawn up for qualifying, which will decide a 20-car finals series of three 20-lap races.

The title will be decided on points scored over the three finals races.

“I’m really excited,” Daniel Cook said.

“I always get a little bit nervous, but I reckon that’s a good thing.”

The racing between Daniel and his brother Ethan has been a highlight at the Eastland Group Raceway this season.

The younger Cook has been getting better and better in his new car.

In the most recent meeting at the Gisborne speedway, just before Christmas, Daniel won two of the three races and Ethan won the other.

In the race of the night, Daniel held off his hard-charging brother by little more than a coat of paint.

“I’m really excited about this,” Ethan said.

“Meeanee is pretty much a second home for us, and it’s a track I like to race on because it’s easier to run two lanes on . . . and I do like the outside lane.”

He said his new car had been going great.

“It’s a lot better than my last one and it’s given me a lot of confidence going into these championships.”

Ethan won the New Zealand Grand Prix title last season in his old car, so must be considered a serious contender.

For Hamish Moore, it will be his first tilt at the national championships.

“I’m a bit nervous, but I’m looking forward to it,” Moore said.

“We’ve had a few issues with the car this season, but we feel we’re on top of it now.”

Moore has been impressive since his debut in the class last season. The fact he won the Gisborne Speedway Club’s trophy for consistency and the “main” points saloon trophy speaks for itself.

He divided the Cook brothers in one heat at the pre-Christmas meeting at the Eastland Group Raceway with a hard-fought second placing.

So Moore must also be seriously considered, certainly to qualify for the finals.

The Cook brothers will be serious contenders for the New Zealand saloon car championship title that will go on the line over two nights at the Meeanee Speedway in Hawke’s Bay.

Daniel (77G) and Ethan (76G) begin their campaigns with qualifying tomorrow night. The finals will be held on Wednesday.

Elder brother Daniel has been in scintillating form this season.

He goes into the championships as the new back-to-back North Island champion, a title he won again at Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui, this month.

“I’m feeling confident going in,” Daniel Cook said.

“It’s a strong 45-car field, so the aim at this stage is just to get through qualifying.

“Hopefully both Ethan and I can do that.

“Then on Wednesday night the aim for both of us would be to target a podium finish.

“I also hope the other Gisborne driver going to Hawke’s Bay, Hamish Moore (16G), gets through.”

None of the Gisborne drivers have managed to get on the national podium before.

“I have been fifth twice, and sixth, so this year I will be battling hard to get into the top three,” Daniel said.

“The car’s going really well. It’s in top shape, so I think it’s going to be up to me to drive well enough to first of all qualify and then do well in the finals.”

Three groups of 15 cars will be drawn up for qualifying, which will decide a 20-car finals series of three 20-lap races.

The title will be decided on points scored over the three finals races.

“I’m really excited,” Daniel Cook said.

“I always get a little bit nervous, but I reckon that’s a good thing.”

The racing between Daniel and his brother Ethan has been a highlight at the Eastland Group Raceway this season.

The younger Cook has been getting better and better in his new car.

In the most recent meeting at the Gisborne speedway, just before Christmas, Daniel won two of the three races and Ethan won the other.

In the race of the night, Daniel held off his hard-charging brother by little more than a coat of paint.

“I’m really excited about this,” Ethan said.

“Meeanee is pretty much a second home for us, and it’s a track I like to race on because it’s easier to run two lanes on . . . and I do like the outside lane.”

He said his new car had been going great.

“It’s a lot better than my last one and it’s given me a lot of confidence going into these championships.”

Ethan won the New Zealand Grand Prix title last season in his old car, so must be considered a serious contender.

For Hamish Moore, it will be his first tilt at the national championships.

“I’m a bit nervous, but I’m looking forward to it,” Moore said.

“We’ve had a few issues with the car this season, but we feel we’re on top of it now.”

Moore has been impressive since his debut in the class last season. The fact he won the Gisborne Speedway Club’s trophy for consistency and the “main” points saloon trophy speaks for itself.

He divided the Cook brothers in one heat at the pre-Christmas meeting at the Eastland Group Raceway with a hard-fought second placing.

So Moore must also be seriously considered, certainly to qualify for the finals.

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