Tasmanian, Sam Walter, will join the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All, to battle out Round 2 at Symmons Plains, 30 March - 1 April.
Walter will steer Brad Patton's Big Gun Racing Ford BF, and this will be the former V8 Supercar driver's (Phillip Island and Bathurst 2009) first time in a V8 Ute, and with no test day on the horizon isn't worried about hitting his local track.
"The ute won't be getting down here with enough time to test, so I'll be driving it straight onto the track. Being a local boy, I've driven there a few times and know a few handy tricks. I've had a lot of success there in the past. I've driven a fair few different vehicles at Symmons and once we get through P1 (practice) I'll understand the car and give it a real go. I know they're different to drive but we're heading down there to do well," said Walter.
Walter will join some old opponents on the track including; local Greg Crick who will steer the Auto One Wildcard and former V8 Supercar Development rival David Sieders.
Sieders was runner-up in the Series last year, and after an unlucky round in Adelaide will be looking to make up some points against leader Kris Walton in his Rentco backed Ford FG.
Walton is leading the Series by two points over fellow Queenslander Ryal Harris and six points ahead of Jesus Racing's Andrew Fisher. Walton's teammate Ryan Hansford is currently in fourth position in the Series and after a stellar performance in Adelaide, has also secured backing from Rentco, which will feature on his Truckline Racing Ford FG's bonnet.
Thirsty Camel Racing's Craig Dontas has also secured new support from Automotive Workshop and Equipment manufacturers, Tecalemit. The Dontas team, headed by Melbourne's Dave Murphy, has just finished building a brand new Holden VE, after an incident in a test day prior to the start of the Season, which effectively wrote off the racer only a week before the Clipsal event.
Dontas' teammate, Nathan Pretty (Monster Energy Holden,) is currently the highest placed Holden in the field and will be looking to outrace rivals Kim Jane (Bob Jane T-Marts) and Sage Automation's Gary Baxter who both have significant experience at Symmons Plains. Both drivers have secured podium wins in the past, Jane at the V8 Utes first appearance at the track in 2004 and Baxter in both 2005 and 2007.
Fisher will also be one to watch, posting the fourth fastest time in the field in 2009, and claiming second overall for the round. The Jesus Racing's driver walked away with third overall in Round 1 and is feeling confident coming into the second Round.
""It's one of our best tracks that we go to and we're coming down with some good speed from Clipsal. I'm really looking forward to going to Symmons Plains. It's a short track but still has little tricks to it and we know the track pretty well, so we're expecting a good result," said Fisher.
The seven new FG's that debuted at Round 1, will be joined by three more in Tasmania including; Peter Burnitt, Jason Gomersall, Danny Buzadzic (who raced the James Brock Holden in Adelaide.) Ryal Harris will switch cars with Jeremy Gray, and drive the Big Gun Racing prepared FG. Other drivers in Ford FG's include: David Sieders, Jack Elsegood, Ben Kavich, Kris Walton and Ryan Hansford.
The drivers will all hit the track for practice on Friday, 30th March. See below full schedule:Friday, 30th March Practice 1 9:40amFriday, 30th March Practice 2 11:20amFriday, 30th March Qualifying 3:10pmSaturday, 31st March Race 1 11:30amSaturday, 31st March Race 2 2:35pmSunday, 1 April Race 3 11:00amSunday, 1 April Race 4 2:05pm
The 2012 Series consists of 25 races over eight rounds raced throughout Australia covering six states and one territory and is televised nationally through-out Australia on Network Seven and 7 Mate and internationally through Motors TV Europe, TV3 New Zealand and SPEED online in the USA.