V8 Utes at Clipsal 500

Local Driver Qualifies on Pole for V8 Utes at Clipsal 500 In AdelaideLocal Driver Qualifies on pole for V8 Utes at Clipsal 500 in AdelaideLocal South Australian Driver, Gary “Chuckie” Baxter set the fastest time in qualifying for Round 1 of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today.

Baxter took on 14 other Holden’s and 16 Fords to earn the top spot for the first race tomorrow.

“It’s great racing in front of a home crowd. I really gave it heaps in practice, I don’t usually do that but I just went for it.”

“What I like about this track is that you can be rewarded for aggressive driving so I went out really hard and gave it all,” said Baxter.

2007 V8 Ute Champion, Grant “Grunta” Johnson gave Chuckie a run for his money and is in a good position to retain his Clipsal title from 2008.

A new rule for twist for 2009, drivers now earn points for qualifying and Johnson proved he is still in the game after having the second fastest time in the session in 1:38.99.

George “Slick” Miedecke was the first of the Fords and qualified third after pushing himself in the last few laps, missing pole by 2/10ths of a second.

 “I went out and made a few mistakes the first time I was out. I came in and realised everyone was going quicker and that I had to do something special. When I came back out I did a time I was happy with,” said Miedecke.

“The car wasn’t perfect but I’m really happy with where we ended up,” he said. Coming in just after “Slick”, was Kurt “Gonzo” Wimmer who was in the top two at one stage in the session but pulled back towards the end to qualify in a time of 1:39.21.

“I have been sick over the past week and I wasn’t feeling that great half way through the session, so thought I should pull back. I am still happy with my performance and just hope the bug stays at bay,” said Wimmer.

Jack Elsegood in the Coopers Ford, Jesus for Life driver Andrew Fisher, reigning champ Layton Crambrook, Adelaide’s Craig Dontas and Holden drivers Kim Jane and Ryal Harris rounded out the top 10.

V8 Ute veteran Rob Jarvis showed the benefit of a fresh Stone Bros engine to qualify in the Top 12, his best performance in qualifying since joining the season.

Brisbane driver Brad Patton hit the wall in Practise session 1 before braking an axle in qualifying, while team mate Peter Burnitt suffered engine failure early in qualifying.

Paul Williams is in good form for Racer Industries Rookie of the Year qualifying 17th ahead of fellow Rookies, Gary Carson (26th) and Jason Gomersall (29th).

The Top Ten in Qualifying are as Follows:

 Car #/  Driver/  Team/  Time 3 Gary Baxter   Sage Automation/NHP Electric  1:38.83 47 Grant Johnson  Grove Fruit Juice/Permacoat      1:38.99 7 George Miedecke Country Energy/Lubrimaxx  1:39.07 32 Kurt Wimmer  Wilson Brothers Racing   1:39.21 11 Jack Elsegood  Coopers Pale Ale Racing          1:39.30 9 Andrew Fisher  Jesus All About Life             1:39.45 71 Layton Crambrook  Mother Energy Drink/Crambrook    1:39.53 45 Craig Dontas  Thirsty Camel Racing   1:39.63 27 Kim Jane  Bob Jane T-Marts/Trading Post    1:39.68 58 Ryal Harris  Global Trading School Racing     1:39.84

 The rest of the V8 Ute Schedule is as follows:

           Date                        Time           RaceFriday,     20th  March     4:15pm    Race 1Saturday, 21st  March    9:00am     Race 2Sunday,    22nd March  11:20am    Race 3

Race Two and Three will be televised on Network Seven, Saturday, 21st and Sunday 22nd March from 1pm.