A full field of V8 Utes will hit the grid for Round 6 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 next weekend 21 - 23 October.
Series leader and reigning Gold Coast champion Chris Pither will be looking to reclaim his 2010 title and put more points on the ENZED leader-board, when he hits the track for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 next weekend.
"We are definitely looking to get more points. I'm really looking forward to racing, we won on the track last year and it's a track that I've always enjoyed and had fun at. It's also a home event for me and I'd like to do well in front of local friends, family and supporters. The Ice Break Holden was quick there last year and we are confident to do well there this year as well," said Pither.
Local driver Ryal Harris in the V.I.P Petfoods Ford is coming off the back of his first ever V8 Ute round win at Bathurst, and as current Gold Coast lap record holder, is keen to take the fight to Pither. Harris is in equal second with reigning V8 Ute champion Grant Johnson and is keen to add some well deserved points to his name.
"I'm definitely going out there to take out the round. I just have to make sure I qualify on the first couple of rows. I struggled at Bathurst with my starts so I have to make sure I get a good start. I do have the championship in mind so hopefully I can get three poles and two round wins in a row. I think I drive better in front of a home crowd and this year my car is faster, so it should be a good round for us. I'm feeling really confident," said Harris.
This time last year, Johnson was a cool 100 points ahead of the field with his second V8 Ute title in his sights. With only 3 rounds remaining the West Aussie is hoping for a podium round like he did last year.
"Hopefully we go out and win it! I never go to a race meeting to come second, and I don't think in this kind of category if you are running at that front, you wouldn't want to just finish on podium. To win the championship now we have to go out and win some races. The penalty imposed after Bathurst after hitting Chris (Pither) was a bit excessive (loss of 10 championship points) we are a bit on the back-foot now. I've always driven the best when under pressure so hopefully that will get us through the rest of the year," said Johnson.
Another driver in contention for the Series title is 2010 Armor All Gold Coast 600 Pole winner and podium placegetter David Sieders. Sieders led the Series after the first round, but lost the title lead after a dismal round at Townsville. Sieders lost out on the Armor All Pole award at Bathurst by sixth tenths of a second to Ryal Harris, however is determined not to let that happen again.
"I was on pole there last year, Ryal had some good speed all year but it wasn't until the last few rounds he worked out his qualifying. Now he is a real threat to all of us in the championship but we are hoping to put it on Pole. I can't wait for the weekend to start, we have to right a few wrongs from last year like breaking a gear box on the start line for Race 1 and try and come off with a win," explained Sieders.
There are eight South East Queenslanders in the field including Harris, Pither, Ryan Hansford, Greg Willis, Brendan Cook, Brad Patton, Peter Burnitt and iseek Racing's Jason Gomersall.
Joining the field this round are fellow Queenslanders Graham "The Mole" Edwards who last raced at Townsville and Tim Boyle, who will join the V8 Utes for the first time. Part-time actor, Boyle raced against V8 Ute Rookie Ryan Hansford in the Queensland Gemini Series and will race Jeremy Gray's Ford, which he just sold to Rod Dawson.
Former racer and V8 Ute Board member Denis Cribbin will be back in the seat for the first time this year and will be steering Charlie Kovacs' Holden. The veteran who raced with John Goss at Bathurst in 1969 is looking forward to his first return since major surgery within the last 12 months.
The V8 Utes will hit the track for their one and only practice session on Friday, 21st October followed by Qualifying in the afternoon.
See below full race schedule for the V8 Utes at the Armor All Gold Coast 600:Friday, 21st October 7:50am PracticeFriday, 21st October 3:00pm QualifyingSaturday, 22nd October 10:15am Race 1Sunday, 23rd October 8:30am Race 2Sunday, 23rd October 12:30pm Race 3
Race 3 will be televised live on Network Seven and will decide the winner of Round 6 of the 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All.