The 2011 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All officially came to an end on the weekend when drivers, mechanics, team managers, partners and supporters arrived in style at the annual Oscars Awards night at Kirribilli Club in Sydney to celebrate the Season.
The mood was healthy following the announcement of current co-naming rights partners Armor All and Auto One resigning for another two years.
"We love the V8 Ute Series, it's a great fit for us and it's worked well the past three years. We are looking forward to another two great years of successful involvement," said Paul Blair, General Manager of the Armored Auto Group.
Peter Henry, CEO of Auto One also echoed the success of the partnership.
"It has worked well for all parties, the Auto One Wildcard Ute has also been an added bonus to this year's season, and we are very keen to continue the concept again next year."
Guests arrived on the red carpet where they were interviewed by V8 Ute commentator Wade Aunger. The star of the show, Series winner Chris Pither arrived in a limo and even received a few kisses from fans awaiting his arrival.
"It was a great night and we definitely weren't expecting the welcome on the red carpet, which was a nice surprise. The Ice Break Team is absolutely wrapt to take out the ENZED Driver's Championship and it was great to celebrate in style," said Pither.
Not only were the top three drivers for the year - Pither, David Sieders (2nd Outright) and Ryal Harris (3rd outright) honoured, also Ryan Hansford claimed the 2011 Rookie title and the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy, which was presented by the late V8 Ute racer's sister Rachael Martin. In an emotional speech, Hansford highlighted how proud he was to be awarded the trophy, and dedicated the win to his late father, legendary motorcycle ace and 1993 Bathurst winner Gregg Hansford.
Jake McNally received an award for runner up in the Rookie title.
The 2011 Team Manager of the Year award went to Ice Break Racing's Darren Park, who raised the bar significantly to produce a winning team on and off the track. Ash Cairns, Chairman of the New Zealand Series and mentor to Pither, was also on hand to congratulate the young-gun. Cairns was instrumental in backing the champ in HQ'S as a 16 year old, and supported him to win two NZ V8 Ute titles.
Other awards went to Warren "Wake-Up" Millet who took out the Masters Award, for the highest point scoring driver over 45 years. Millet claimed 18th overall in the Series, his best ever result. Melbourne's Kim Jane took home the Oscar for the Most Improved Driver in the Series, (based on the most improved championship point score result from 2010 to 2011)
The night was MC'D by Australia's Got Talent finalist and comedian Ben Price, who put on a spectacular show impersonating the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush, Julia Gillard, Tom Cruise and John Cleese just to name a few.
All agreed, the 2011 series was the most competitive and exciting yet, and the OSCARS celebration was a fitting tribute to end the season on a high.
The V8 Utes will be back on track in 2012 at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide 1 - 4 March. To re-cap on all of the action from the final round of the Series, tune into 7Mate, Saturday, 17th December at 12pm.
Top three results from the ENZED drivers championship
1 Chris Pither 935 2 Ryal Harris 908 3 David Sieders 882