Utes: Series Hidden Valley Friday notes

Kovacs Quickest in a V8 Ute Practice at Hidden Valley Veteran V8 Ute driver Charlie "Handlebars" Kovacs proved grey power is as good as horsepower when he was quickest in both practice sessions on day one, round four of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute...

Kovacs Quickest in a V8 Ute Practice at Hidden Valley

Veteran V8 Ute driver Charlie "Handlebars" Kovacs proved grey power is as good as horsepower when he was quickest in both practice sessions on day one, round four of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Series – protected by Armor All at Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin.

The South Australian and oldest driver in the field was pleased with his result and hopes that luck will stay with him for the rest of the weekend.

"It's a great feeling showing the youngsters a thing or two, I just hope I can keep it up in tomorrow's qualifying. Jnr gave be a great car and I think it has helped having Sylvia (his wife) back at the track, she is like my good luck charm - she has been at every race with me except for the last one at Symmons and it's good to have her back by my side," said Kovacs.

Only 3/100ths of a second behind Kovacs was Ford BF driver George Miedecke who is currently third in the Series and hoping to stay on pace for tomorrow.

"It was an OK practice, the car felt fine but I was hoping to do a bit better. It will be good to give the engine a rest as I gave it a bit of a work-out today and will give it more tomorrow," said Miedecke. Both Kovacs and Miedecke are running the brand new Craigsted V8 Ute control engines.

Third fastest was Series leader Jack "The Hustler" Elsegood who had to retire after the first lap in session two due to a broken tail shaft centre bearing.

"We can fix that overnight so we will be all good to go tomorrow," said Elsegood.

Jesus All About Life Racing's Andrew Fisher, coming off his first ever podium at Symmons Plains Tasmania continued his heavenly run with a fourth fastest over the two practice sessions.

Darwinian, Layton "Leadfoot" Crambrook, came in fifth fastest and pit lane gossip suggests he is foxing before tomorrow's qualifying session to re-claim his Hidden Valley title from 2008.

Veteran Yanis Derums has been on the pace for the past two rounds, and finished seventh today and looking to improve on his 15th rank in the Series this weekend.

Former NASCAR driver, Kim Jane was not content with eighth fastest practice result and hopes to have a good qualifying following an engine change tonight. "I just plan to finish each race and will hopefully land myself on podium again this year," said Jane.

It seems swimming with crocodiles agrees with NT Shippings, Scott Jennings who had one of his best practice results with a combined tenth fastest in a time of 1:23.52 with just on 1 second separating the Top 10.

2008 Rookie Glenn McNally also had a strong result with 9th fastest overall.

Hidden Valley lap record holder Grant Johnson is feeling confident after sitting out both practice sessions in the Grove Fruit Juice Commodore.

"The Fords were faster at Symmons that's obvious, so I am protesting by not doing practice. I am all good but just wanted to make a statement," said Johnson.

Johnson's argument lost some serious momentum when Holden set the fastest time in both practice sessions and held down 6 out of the top 10 positions.

The 16 Fords and 16 Holdens will hit the track tomorrow morning at 10:25am for Qualifying and again at 2:20pm for Race 2.

On Sunday Race 2 will be at 10:20am and the final Race 3 at 1:20pm.

Race 2 will be televised live on Network Seven at 12:30pm (EST

-credit: utes

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Series Supercars
Drivers Grant Johnson , Andrew Fisher