Handlebars on Hold for 2011 V8 Utes Series

 Long time V8 Ute Veteran Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs has confirmed that he will not continue in the 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All.

Kovacs, who is most well known for his spectacular “handlebar moustache,” has decided to step out due to work commitments and like the V8 Ute moto intends to keep “working hard, to play even harder”.

“I really need to concentrate on work at the moment so I can play later.  The ute is currently being leased so I’m just focusing full time on the business with the plan to return full time next year,” said the long-time driver.

The South Australian hasn’t raced since Round 2 at Barbagallo Raceway with Yanis Derums taking the reins at Round 3 in Darwin and Rick Gill in Townsville for Round 4.

Kovacs has only missed a total of 3 rounds (2 this year) in 11 seasons of racing. He was the first driver to celebrate his 200th V8 Ute race however takes all of his wins as his most memorable moments.

“My first win at Mount Panorama was my favourite moment and any time you win a race is a special occasion,” explained Kovacs.

Kovacs’ memorable occasions were all shared with his family who have supported him over the years. Wife Silvia has been to every round with Kovacs, and his daughters were dubbed “Charlie’s Angels”.

Son Charlie Junior has driven alongside dad at Winton Raceway (2008) and partnered with him in the “Ten Years of Legends Race” at the Clipsal 500 last year. Kovacs is sure his family will continue to support him when he returns in 2012. “The family will join me again next year. Having the family in tow with me is something I will be forever grateful because racing can be a very hard game, and their support has become an essential element to our success over the years,”

Along with holding a Guinness World Record for towing a caravan at over 200 kph, his major achievement was winning the inaugural 2006 Trans Tasman V8 Ute Challenge at Manfeild in New Zealand with co-driver Simon Wills against a hot field of New Zealand and Australian competitors.

The next round of the 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All will be held at Mount Panorama, 6 – 9 October.

The 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All features 32 Ford and Holden production based V8 racing utes - covering 8 championship rounds, and 26 races through five states of Australia. The series is televised nationally on the SEVEN Network, through Fox Sports, TV3 New Zealand, Motors TV Europe and over 40 countries worldwide.

See below remaining 2011 Calendar.

 Round    Event    Venue    Date  5    Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000    Mount Panorama, NSW    6 – 9 Oct  6     Armor All Gold Coast 600    Surfers Paradise, QLD   21 – 23 Oct  7   Norton 360 Sandown Challenge    Sandown Raceway, VIC    18 – 20 Nov  8   Sydney Telstra 500    Olympic Park, Sydney, NSW   2 – 4 Dec 

 Make-A-Wish® Australia is the official charity of Australian V8 Ute Racing who will endeavour to assist the foundation with their mission, which is to “To grant the Wishes of Children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope strength and joy.”