Grant Johnson is battling the effects of the flu but it was the rest of the field who needed the tissues when he took an all the way win in Race One of Round Seven of the Yokohama Australia V8 Ute Series at Mt. Panorama Bathurst today.
Johnson’s Grove Juice VE Holden was simply too quick for his rivals as the West Aussie romped to victory ahead of current series leader Layton Crambrook in the Mother Energy Drink XR8 in second and Gary MacDonald third in the Kanga Loaders VE.
“The car was great,” said an obviously relieved Johnson, “it’s just that I wasn’t. I think it’s more like sinusitis now, but it’s not much fun. Before the race I was actually asleep in the car. I don’t know what I can do about it I just have to hang on I guess.”
Layton Crambrook’s second place finish was fortuitous to say the least.
“The clutch failed right from the start,” explained the series leader, “and the centre bearing of the driveshaft failed as well. The car was vibrating so badly I couldn’t even see out of the mirrors. We’re luck to finish, let alone finish like we did in second. I’m happy.”
Kim Jane was disappointed with himself, though he did still finish in the top ten despite a giant size crease in the bonnet of the Trading Post / Bob Jane T-Marts VE Holden and an ongoing battle that featured Clint Harvey, George Miedecke and Jack Elsegood.
“I missed a critical gear,” he frowned, “I’m so angry with myself. I would have gone from sixth to third but I stuffed it.”
South Aussie Chuckie Baxter brought the Sage Automation VE home in fourth ahead of livewire West Aussie Clint Harvey in fifth in the CAT VE, George Miedecke in the Lubrimaxx XR8, Jack Elsegood in the Coopers Pale Ale XR8, Kim Jane, Stephen Robinson in the Air Vanuatu XR8 and Charlie Kovacs in the RED Express Holden rounding out the top ten.
Eleventh home was Andrew Fisher in the Jesus All About Life XR8 ahead of Craig Dontas in the Masport Big Guns XR8, Nandi Kiss (JFTA VE) Colin Corkery (Supercharge Batteries XR8) Kurt Wimmer (Global Trader Technologies VE) Ryal Harris (Global Trader Technologies VE) Ben Dunn (Storage King XR8) Shanan Sidebottom (Green Petroleum VE) Justin Van Twest (Capalaba Wreckers XR8) and Glenn McNally (Action Mining VE) in 20th.
Wayne Lamont brought home the Lamont Constructions VE in 21st ahead of Ben Kavich (Workhorse Collision XR8) Greg Willis (Grove Juice XR8) George Elliot (Vittoria Coffee VE) Warren Millet (Wake Up VE) Steve Hodges (ISRI Seats VE) Denis Cribbin (Capalaba Wreckers XR8) Brad Patton (Ideal Electrical XR8) Rob Jarvis (BVC XR8) Michael Bartsch (Bartsch Builders XR8) and Peter Burnitt (Ideal Electrical XR8).
Yanis Derums was the only DNF with an oil seal leak that was later diagnosed not to be terminal.
Michael Bartsch started with a new engine after he blew his yesterday.
Having finished fifteenth and sixteenth respectively in Race One Global Trader Technologies team mates Ryal Harris and Kurt Wimmer will start on the front row for the “TV” race on tomorrow’s Channel Seven coverage of the Bathurst weekend.