After eight years of racing a V8 Ute, Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs will celebrate his 200th Race during race three at Oran Park, next weekend at the final round of the 2008 series.
Charlie has driven his Red Express Holden since the Series inception in 2001 and has experienced over three types of V8 Commodores including the VU, VY and the latest VE model and said of all the models, the VE is definitely the one that he is taking the longest to get his head around.
“All the other models of Commodore were pretty similar in driving characteristics but the VE has meant a complete new start, which is pretty exciting,” he said.
“It’s kind of like getting a new wife after so many years,” he joked.
Speaking of wives, racing has always been a family affair with the Kovacs and Charlie’s Wife Silvia has been by his side for most of his career.
At one stage, Charlie was also accompanied at race meetings by his beautiful daughters who also grew to have their own following and gathered the nick name “Charlies Angels”.
“Having the family in tow with me is something I will be forever grateful for because racing can be a very hard game, and their support has become an essential element to our success over the years,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I simply wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Kovacs who is most well known for his spectacular “handlebar moustache” has experienced many highs in his V8 ute racing career, most recently racing against his son “No Mo” Kovacs Jnr at the QLD Raceway Round of the Championship.
“That, along with winning the International Ute race, was probably one of my highlights,” he said.
“That was a very emotional time for both of us but I felt sorry for poor Silv putting up with all the rivalry, we’re supposed to be team mates……..yeah right!”
“He is a great kid and a good steerer and I was very proud of him and if we had the budget, we would run another car for him.”
Kovacs will be the first V8 Ute Driver to celebrate a 200th Race and he is feeling up to the challenge.
“I suppose I feel privileged and fortunate to be the first to be in the 200 club in the Utes as it’s been a wild ride over the years, and I’ve enjoyed watching the class change, as well as all the different drivers.
Kovacs along with the other 31 V8 Ute Drivers will begin the final round of the 2008 Yokohama V8 Utes Racing Series 4th December and end the season on a high note with his 200th Race on 7th December.
Race Two will be televised live on the Seven Network from 11:25am on Saturday, 6th December and you can catch Kovacs 200th Race on Channel Seven, Saturday, 20th December from 1:30pm.
Top Five Standings 2008 V8 Utes Racing Series:
Layton Crambrook #71 Lamont Constructions Racing 632 Kim Jane #27 Kim Jane Racing 589 Grant Johnson #1 Grove Juice Racing 533 Gary Baxter #3 Sage Automation Racing 507
Ryal Harris #58 Global Trader Racing 465 *Charlie Kovacs #69 Red Racing 350
Top Three Rookies of The Year Standings:
Glenn McNally #12 High Tech Motorsport 368 Ben Kavich #26 Grease Monkey Motorsport 228 Michael Bartsch # 8 WPR Racing 164
Round Eight - Oran Park Schedule
Thursday, 4th December 10am Practice One 1:30pm Practice Two 4:35pm Qualifying Friday, 5th December 12:20pm Race One Saturday, 6th December 11:25am Race Two Sunday, 7th December 9:30am Race Three