V8 Ute Drivers Gear Up ..

For Round One of the V8 Ute Racing Series  The 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series will have a 32 strong line-up to begin its ninth year at the inaugural Clipsal 500, in Adelaide, 19 – 22 March.

The V8 Ute Racing Series began with nine Utes in 2001 at the Adelaide Parklands track, which has hosted the first round of the Series ever since. Nine years later, the Series has grown to a 32 strong grid 16 Ford and 16 Holden.Drivers will be vying for the overall prize of 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Champion, which was won by Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook in 2008.

The reigning champion will be back in force this year to try and reclaim his title, which has only been won back to back twice before, by Warren Luff in a Ford in 2002 and 2003 and Damien White in a Holden in 2004 and 2005 so Crambrook, has a tough task ahead of him.

“It’s my ultimate goal to win the Series again, we pulled together really well last year, had some great rounds and a great team,” he said.

Another prize that four drivers will be vying for is the 2009 Racer Industries Rookie of the Year and the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy.

These two awards go to the best performing Rookie of the Year, which was won by Glenn “Evil” McNally in 2008.

There are three drivers vying for the award this year and they include; Wollongong Performance Racing, Gary Carson, Velocity Motorsports, Jason Gomersall and Holden driver, Paul Williams.

Both Edge and Carson have stepped up to the driver’s seat after working behind the scenes with the teams over the past couple of years.

Williams and Gomersall have both driven the Utes before, however Williams has only competed in two rounds in 2008 and Gomersall had his first trial at the final round of the 2008 series at Oran Park.

The Rookies will be up against veteran Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs who celebrated his 200th Race at Oran Park, 2008 and will be keen to get behind the wheel again on his local and inaugural Clipsal track.

“It is one of my favourite tracks and it’s always a pleasure to race in front of a home crowd. Clipsal has been good to me over the years and it launched my career in the Utes,” said Kovacs.

Other South Australian drivers are Craig “Growler” Dontas who was in a horrific accident at the track last year, Holden driver, Gary “Chuckie” Baxter and Noel “Sledge” Edge.

The 32 grid line-up is as follows:

 1  Layton Crambrook     Mother Energy Drink / Maxibon Bits 2 Stephen Robinson   Tusker Beer / Air Vanuatu 3  Gary Baxter  Sage    Automation / NHP Electrical/TAD/Icon 4 Peter Burnitt  Big Gun Racing 5 Justin Van Twest  Madashell Motorsport 7 George Miedecke  Country Energy/Lubrimaxx/Miedecke Motorsport  8  Noel Edge  SEW-Eurodrive Racing 9 Andrew Fisher  Jesus All About Life Racing 11 Jack Elsegood  Coopers Pale Ale Racing 12 Glenn McNally   West Coast Racing/NRW Holdings Ltd 13 Gary Carson  WPR Racing/Select TV 14  Brad Patton Big Gun Racing 16  Wayne Lamont Lamont Constructions Racing 17  Robert Jarvis  BVC RACING/Brunswick Valley Coaches 18 Scott Jennings United Oil/NT Shipping 24 Nandi Kiss JFTA/ Protec/Treloar 25  Paul Williams  Brock Race Engineering / GBF Underground Mining  26  Ben Kavich  Collision Repairs/Central Demolition & Asbestos  27 Kim Jane  Bob Jane T-Marts/Trading Post 32 Kurt Wimmer Wilson Brothers Racing 37  Jason Gomersall  Velocity Motorport/ iseek Communications 41  Yanis Derums  Caveat Loans/Mangomedia 43  Steve Hodges  ISRI Truck Seats 44  Greg Willis  Grove Juice Racing/Grove Fruit Juice 45 Craig Dontas Thirsty Camel Racing 47 Grant Johnson  Grove Fruit Juice/Permacoat 55  George Elliot  Vittoria Coffee 58  Ryal Harris  Global Trading School Racing 69 Charlie Kovacs  RED Racing/ RED Express Delivieries 85  Shanan Sidebottom  Australian Rubber Manufacturers/321 Ignition magazine/FLO lounge 88 Warren Millet  Wake Up Racing/Wake Up Backpackers 99  Colin Dunn  Storage King/Wilson Fabrics

 Race Two, which is a reverse 16 Grid start and Race Three, will be televised live on the Seven Network Saturday, 21st March and Sunday, 22nd March from 1pm

Below is the V8 Utes Clipsal 500 Race Schedule:

           Date                        Time           RaceThursday, 19th March      9:05am   Practice 1Thursday, 19th March     1:30pm    QualifyingFriday,     20th  March     4:15pm    Race 1Saturday, 21st  March    9:00am     Race 2Sunday,    22nd March  11:20am    Race 3

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