Utes: Series newsletter 2009-06-25

Five way Battle for V8 Ute Series Lead With five Fords and five Holdens in the top ten and only 100 points (three race wins) separating the top10 positions, the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All is shaping up to be the...

Five way Battle for V8 Ute Series Lead

With five Fords and five Holdens in the top ten and only 100 points (three race wins) separating the top10 positions, the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All is shaping up to be the most competitive in years.

Series leader Jack "The Hustler" Elsegood is only 11 points in front of Ford counterpart Layton Crambrook and eager to hold onto his lead.

"I feel confident I am driving well and am looking forward to the next round. I had a judicial issue that went against me in Darwin which has allowed Layton to close the gap," said Elsegood. The former NRL star was given a post race penalty for an incident with Craig Dontas in Race 2.

Crambrook, the reigning champ is in a good position to reclaim the championship and has done well to fight back from 20th after Round 1 at Clipsal, to a second at Winton, a Round 3 win at Symmons Plains and a second place at Hidden Valley.

"If you go on the previous three races we are looking good to overtake Jack. If all goes to plan we will hopefully have a ten point lead after the next round," said Crambrook.

Sage Automation's Gary Baxter has done well to move back up into the top three after leading the Series following Round 1 (Clipsal 500) and Round 2 (Winton Raceway) however was unfortunate to lose his top spot after he blew an engine at Symmons Plains. This put him back to fifth position going into Round 4 at Hidden Valley.

Baxter wrangled to a Round 4 victory, which has elevated him to third in the Series and back in championship contention.

"I am really happy with the new Craigsted control engine. The power band has changed a little, which I will have to get use to but it is still doing the job. With all of the driving that I do, I think it will be a lot easier for me to take to the new Townsville track, especially with only one practice session."

"It looks like a fantastic track, it reminds me of a formula one circuit so should be a lot of fun," continued Baxter.

Grove Fruit Juice Racings Grant Johnson, who had to settle with a 15th overall in Round 1 after a high speed crash at Clipsal, is slowly clawing his way back up the ladder.

After debuting a new ute the Perth driver had a better run at Round 2. He moved into ninth position and then 6th after Symmons Plains plus continued his good run with a podium finish in Darwin last weekend, which has pushed him into fourth position in the series overall.

Following closely behind Johnson by 10 points is young-gun George Miedecke who is ready to prove his worth in the V8 Utes.

"I've only been outside the top four once this year and obviously the speeds there we just have to put a weekend together."

"The guys ahead of me are very talented but I feel I also have the talent to catch them up," said Miedecke.

To recap Round 4, Hidden Valley Raceway tune into Network Seven, Saturday, 27th June at 1:30pm (EST).

Round 5 will kick off on the streets of Townsville, Friday, 10th July – Sunday, 12th July.

-credit: utes

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Series Supercars
Drivers Grant Johnson , Layton Crambrook