UTE: Season opener preview

GRICE, BROCK, MOFFAT -- LEGEND AND SONS OF LEGENDS LINE UP IN V8 UTE RACES AT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX Memories of some of the greatest days in Australian touring car racing will be revived when three legendary names are re-united in...

GRICE, BROCK, MOFFAT -- LEGEND AND SONS OF LEGENDS LINE UP IN V8 UTE RACES AT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Memories of some of the greatest days in Australian touring car racing will be revived when three legendary names are re-united in the Cleanevent V8 Utes races at the Fosters Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this week.

Two-time Bathurst winner Allan Grice and James Brock and James Moffat, the sons respectively of Bathurst winners Peter Brock and Allan Moffat, will line up for three non-championship V8 Ute races from Thursday.

The exciting Ford and Holden V8 Utes are making their Albert Park debut among just four national categories invited to join the AGP support race program.

A total of 31 V8 Utes will contest races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Grice and Brock and Moffat Senior collectively own 15 Bathurst 1000 trophies.

Their battles at Mount Panorama and in the Australian Touring Car Championship are remembered as some of the most exciting in Australian motorsport.

Peter Brock will be watching keenly as his son James returns to ute racing as Team Brock manager and lead driver after spending last season behind the wheel of a Nations Cup Holden Monaro.

James will be in an identical 5.7 litre Holden SS ute to Grice, who has switched from his Ford Falcon XR8 of recent seasons.

The veteran Queenslander is handing over the Falcon to Moffat, making his V8 Utes debut with the assistance of Trend Windows, Dick Johnson Racing and Ford.

Moffat, 20, is stepping up to the fast and wild V8 Utes after contesting the 2004 Lotus Elise series, in which he finished second overall, and has no illusions about the tough new challenge.

"I'm glad it's a non-championship weekend, because I won't even get to drive the car before Thursday and I wouldn't want any points to be at stake at this stage," he said.

"It will be the first time I've raced a front-engined car and the Falcon is more than twice the weight of the Lotus, so I'll be having to learn to adapt to completely different characteristics.

"I'll be looking out for James (Brock). He's had three or four seasons of ute racing and should be pretty strong.

"I hope Gricey is a friend rather than a foe on the track. He's still a very competitive driver and always wants to win -- but I hope he remembers I'll be driving his car!

"My Dad has been very supportive of my racing and the switch to a Ford, but apart from that he likes to take a back seat."

James Brock and James Moffat are not the only sons of legends to compete in V8 Utes. Gavin Harvey, son of Gold Star champion John Harvey, raced a Holden ute in 2002 and 2003.

Timetable -- Cleanevent V8 Utes

Thursday 3 March
9.30 am - Practice (20 min.)
3.30 pm -- Qualifying (20 min.)
5.45 pm -- Race 1 (6 laps); grid decided on qualifying order

Friday 4 March
5.40 pm -- Race 2 (6 laps); grids reversed for faster and slower 50% of qualifiers

Saturday 5 March
4.10 pm -- race 3 (8 laps); grid decided on aggregate points from race 1 and race 2 finishing positions

-ausute-

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Series CAMS
Drivers Peter Brock , James Brock , Allan Moffat , Dick Johnson , James Moffat