V8S

AUS Utes: Series Hidden Valley race 1 report

Johnson Ambushes V8 Ute Field in Darwin V8 Ute series leader Grant "Grunta" Johnson blitzed the field today in his Regal Transport Group backed Holden taking out the Armor All Pole Award and Race 1 of Round 3 of the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing...

Johnson Ambushes V8 Ute Field in Darwin

V8 Ute series leader Grant "Grunta" Johnson blitzed the field today in his Regal Transport Group backed Holden taking out the Armor All Pole Award and Race 1 of Round 3 of the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All.

After posting the fastest time in Qualifying with a time of 1:22.10, Johnson came back in Race 1 to smash the lap record by almost 1 second in a time of 1:22.88 and is aiming to clean-up the Round "The plan is to take out the Round again. The car is really consistent and it's looking after its tyres," said Johnson.

Johnson will start from 18th position tomorrow after he drew the starting position ballot for Race two. As a result of drawing number 18, the top 18 utes from the results of Race 1 are reversed to set the grid for Race 2.

"Starting from 18th makes no difference to me. We've got a longer race tomorrow with 14 laps so I should be able to make the spots up no problem," said Johnson.

West Aussie Johnson claimed his win ahead of Coopers Clear Racing's Jack "The Hustler" Elsegood by almost 1 second. Elsegood gave his Hi-Tech Motorsport teammate a run for his money earlier in the day in Qualifying holding out for the final lap to try and better Johnson who pipped him by 3/100ths of a second to claim pole.

"Would of, should of, didn't, so qualified second," commented Elsegood.

The former NRL player is confident he can move through the field from . his 17th grid position "It's definitely going to be hard work to move . up the field but if I can take down 1 car a lap we should be in good . form. We have good car speed, about on par with Grant so we should . have no troubles," said Elsegood .

Ice Break Racing's Chris Pither had a tremendous battle with Bob Jane T-Mart Holden driver Kim Jane for third. Behind Jane was Jesus Racing's Andrew Fisher who after a slow start took back his 5th starting position from Thirsty Camels, Craig Dontas passing him on lap 7, turn 5.

Dontas did well to stay out of trouble as Ryal Harris pushed forward . two more spots after Nulon Oil's, David Sieders (who qualified 8th) . and Sage Racings, Gary Baxter (who started from 9th) came together . which eventually led to Baxter having to retire with a broken steering. rack Sieders was involved in another incident at the same turn with . Yanis Derums who turned Sieders around after a brake lock up at Turn 5. resulting in a drive through penalty .

Ice Break Racing's Gary MacDonald held ground with Wilson Security's Charlie Kovacs who moved through the field to finish in 9th overall.

NT Shippings Scott Jennings had a cracker of a 100th Race to round out the top ten and move up 4 places from his 14th grid position.

Charlie O'Brien was forced to retire early from the race due to a broken axle and Workhorse Collision Repairs driver, Ben Kavich, was lucky to finish the race after his right front brake calliper failed causing him to spin off into turn 1 dropping him from 16th to 28th overall.

Starting from the front row in the top 18 reversed grid race 2 is Brad Patton and Steve Hodges. Patton started from Pole for Race 2 at Winton (Round 2) and held his position until the final lap, so he will be out to prove a point tomorrow.

"We've been quick all weekend we just messed up qualifying and the engine went into limp mode in Race1, however if we can get off the starting line we should win it tomorrow," explained Patton.

Steve Hodges has a good track record with his front row starts starting from Pole at the Sydney Telstra 500 last year he held his spot and claimed his first Race win.

Race 2 will be televised LIVE on Network Seven tomorrow (Sunday, 20th June) at 12:30pm (EST) and will end with Race 3, which will kickoff at the track at 1:35pm.

-source: aus utes

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About this article
Series V8S
Drivers Bob Jane , Charlie Kovacs , Chris Pither , David Sieders , Andrew Fisher