AUS Utes: McConville joins series with Walkinshaw Racing

McConville Uncorks Bundaberg/Walkinshaw Racing V8 Ute Deal

V8 Supercar driver Cameron "Conkers" McConville will join the 2011 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series -- protected by Armor All driving the Ryal Harris Holden VE and backed by Bundaberg Rum.

The Ute will be run and prepared out of the Walkinshaw Racing team workshop at Clayton in Victoria.

McConville launched his new Bundaberg livery this morning at Diageo's (Bundaberg distributors) supply centre and is delighted to be joining the Series as a full-time driver.

"After sitting on the sidelines and watching for 12 months, I am definitely ready to sink my teeth into the competitive side of racing again."

"I didn't realise how much I missed it until I jumped back in a Walkinshaw Racing Commodore with Garth Tander at the Phillip Island 500 and Bathurst 1000 last year," McConville said.

"While the Ute Series these days is very competitive, it is also going to be a lot of fun. Those guys don't hold anything back when they go racing, so I am looking forward to the challenge but also really excited about mixing it with the guys up the front."

"To work with a brand like Bundaberg Rum is also an exciting prospect for me. I have been in this game for a long time now and have represented a lot of different brands, but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Bundaberg Distilling Company on some of their proposed projects this year," he said.

McConville had a stint in the V8 Utes at the Clipsal 500 last year when he raced in a two driver team with Gary Baxter at the "Ten Years of Legends Event" in Adelaide. He has been involved with parity testing for the category so is coming into the Series with a fair amount of knowledge and looking forward to racing against his old teammate Baxter.

"It will be great to race against him, he is a highly credentialed driver and I thought he was the best driver out there last year. I'll have to shout him some Bundy rums to get the inside scoop on the series," he said with a grin.

The Melbourne based steerer will also join V8 Supercar driver Fabian Coulthard in the Bundy V8 Supercar for the enduro events.

"This is the first time Bundaberg has been involved in the V8 Ute Series and we are looking forward to a great year," explained Brand Sponsorship Manager Mark McLeod.

"It's a fun category, very entertaining and a lot of our Bundy drinkers drive Utes. It's a like for like fit. We also think Cam is great for our brand as he has all the qualities that Bundy stands for."

Both McConville and Coulthard will run as #61 for the year as Bundaberg celebrates 50 years in existence, with the number representing the rum maker's founding year (1961).

Craig Denyer from SPHERIX, category managers of Australian V8 Ute Racing Series believes McConville will be a great boost for the Series.

"It is a testament that not only are V8 Utes now known as a feeder category to the V8 Supercar Series, however also a category that Supercar drivers such as McConville, Paul Morris and others can use to stay in touch with the main game in the Australian motorsport industry," explained Denyer.

"It is also great to see a premium brand such as Bundaberg backing the V8 Utes. With Live races on the Seven Network and an excellent International TV package, the series offers a great return on investment, as evidenced by other major brands such as Ice Break, Rockstar Thirsty Camel and Coopers that have been long time supporters of the series."

The 2011 Yokohama V8 Utes Series kicks off on the streets of Adelaide on March 17-20. The series will be contested over eight rounds including the following:

-source: aus v8 ute

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Series V8S
Drivers Garth Tander , Fabian Coulthard , Paul Morris , Phillip Island