Two Times V8 Ute Champion

 Steps up for Final Oran Park Round

The Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series is gearing up for the final round at the famous Oran Park racetrack which will showcase the NRMA Motoring & Services Grand Finale as the last V8 Supercar event to be held at Oran Park.

Layton Crambrook is currently leading the charge for FORD but is followed closely by Holden rival Kim Jane who trails by only 43 points. This doesn’t seem to faze the young Mother Energy drink driver.

“It’s pretty good to be on top going in to the final round.. This is what we’ve been working for all year and hope it all goes well,” said Crambrook.

With 39 points on offer for each race win, a total of 117 points  over the races are on the table, which means if Crambrook has a bad race, and either Jane or Johnson take a race win, then the battle could still go right down to the final lap on Sunday morning.

Johnson isn’t feeling any pressure and is also quite confident following the  last time he raced at Oran in 2006.

“Holding the lap record and also being on pole the last time we raced here helps the confidence level – it is also our main test track so I don’t feel as much pressure as such to perform,” said Johnson.

The reigning champion in the Grove Fruit Juice Commodore managed to come from behind to take the 2007 series when he overtook Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood (who was the series leader), in the final laps of the last championship race.

The top three will also have to watch out for Gary “Chuckie” Baxter who will also be looking to take out a podium spot on 507 points and also Global Trader driver, Ryal Harris on 465 points.

Crambrook will have to work hard flying the Ford flag being the only Falcon in the top five.

Not only is the Series title up for grabs but also the Racer Industries Rookie of the Year, with the top three contenders, Glenn McNally, Ben Kavich and Michael Bartsch.

They are not only up for a test ride in a V8 Supercar along with the Series winner but also the perpetual Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy.

“This is a new trophy which has been introduced this year in memory of Ashley who was the inaugural V8 Ute Rookie of the Year in 2006.”

Though it is the last round of the Series there are still a few changes in the 32 car line-up.

 #18 Scott Jennings is going to finish the Series with his new sponsor, Kettle Chips.

Ray “Sidey” Sidebottom will be taking over the reins from son Shanan for the final round and swapping to number #39 and newcomer Jason “Gommo” Gomersall will be driving his new #37 iseek Ford for the first time in preparation for the 2009 Series.

Kanga Loader driver, Yanis Derums who was in a testing crash a few weeks ago at the Oran Park test day will be unable to compete at round eight due to a rib injury that was still niggling from the incident.

Two times V8 Utes Series Champion Damien White will step up for Derums and take the Kanga Loader car around the track for the final round.

Jesus all About Life driver, Andrew Fisher will also be in for a busy weekend once again after deciding to juggle both his Fujitsu V8 Supercar and V8 Ute commitments.

To top off the final round, veteran Holden driver Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs will celebrate his 200th Race in his Red Express Holden.

Race two and three will both be televised live on the Seven Network. Race Two on Saturday, 6 December at 3:25pm and Race Three on Sunday, 7th December at 2:40pm.

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

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