Female V8 Ute Driver and Part-time model Hayley Swanson along with New Zealand V8 Ute Champion Andrew Waite were thrown to the crocs at Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of Darwin City, earlier today (Thursday, 14th June) before competing in Round 4 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor all, at Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, 15-17 June.
Both drivers were thrown into the deep end with the famous Crocs and it was an experience they won’t forget.
“It was awesome I’ve always patted lizards but these are a lot bigger so it was amazing. I loved holding the baby croc it was so fun. It is a great experience and a great thing they have to help people understand the croc’s a bit better and its great to be able to get up close and personal with them,” said Swanson.
Swanson wanted one as a pet and had her wish come true, she will sport her new mascot in the front of her Holden VE.
“I was given a nice little crocodile in its khaki shirt (Toy Crocodile) so I’ll be keeping that in my car for the weekend, it will make me faster and my driving skills a little snappier,” she said.
For New Zealander Waite, this was his first encounter with a reptile and the Aussie Beast and he loved every minute of it.
“It was such a great experience. I got to hold Fluffy the little one earlier. I’ll think about that big croc behind me in my Ice break Ute over the weekend and hopefully it will make me go faster,” said Waite.
Swanson is the fourth female to drive in the V8 Ute Series, joining the field in Round 2 in her Bay Point Development backed Holden. “Swanny” drove in the Aussie Racing Car Series and featured on Channel Seven’s Reality TV Show, Shannon’s Super Car Showdown, which was hosted by former V8 Ute driver Grant Denyer and V8 Supercar drivers The Kelly Brothers.
Waite will make his Australian V8 Ute debut in Darwin. After claiming the 2011/12 New Zealand V8 Ute title, Waite became the recipient of the Chris Pither Scholarship – powered by Ice Break. The Chris Pither scholarship was set up to give young drivers a chance to race for a professional team, and Waite will be the second driver to benefit from the programme.
Both drivers will hit the track tomorrow morning for two practice sessions on Friday, 15th June followed by;Saturday, 16th June Qualifying 8:40amSaturday, 16th June Race 1 11:30amSaturday, 16th June Race 2 2:20pmSunday, 17th June Race 3 10:30amSunday, 17th June Race 4 1:25am
Race 2 will be televised as Live as on Network Seven (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) and 7Mate (Adelaide, Perth and Darwin) at 2pm (AEST) Saturday, 16th June and Race 4 will be televised Live As also on Network Seven (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) and 7Mate (Adelaide, Perth, Darwin) at 2pm (AEST) Sunday, 17th June.
The 2012 Series consists of 32 V8 Utes 16 Fords and 16 Holden’s who battle it out through 26 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.