AUS Utes: Series Bathurst preview

MacDonald Mans Up for V8 Ute Mountain Challenge For the third year in a row, the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series & ...

MacDonald Mans Up for V8 Ute Mountain Challenge

For the third year in a row, the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All will join the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend as a feature category to battle out Round 6 of the Series, 7 – 10 October at Mount Panorama.

With only three rounds remaining, the Series campaign is heating up and 2009 Bathurst winner Gary MacDonald will be one to watch out for at Mount Panorama. MacDonald walked away with the lap record in the V8 Utes inaugural year in 2001, and drove home in great style in the wet last year to claim the round. He currently sits fifth in the Series and will be pushing hard to get some good points on the board.

"It would be great to reclaim the lap record, the ute is fast and I love racing at Bathurst. I'm just going to take each race as they come and hope for a win at the end," said MacDonald.

One of MacDonald's main rivals is his Ice Break Racing's Teammate, reigning NZ Ute champ Chris "Crispy" Pither, who will return to the Bathurst track for the first time since a V8 Supercar incident in 2008 with Paul Weel at Reid Park corner, causing heavy damage to both cars and hospitalizing Weel.

Jesus Racing's Andrew Fisher will also be a hot favourite having tasted further Bathurst experience when he took on the V8 Supercar Enduro race last year with teammate David Sieders who is sitting one position behind Fisher in the Series in fourth.

The Armor All Pole Award for the fastest in qualifying will be a tough battle between Series leaders Grant Johnson and Coopers Clear Racing's Jack Elsegood who will celebrate his 200th Race at Bathurst. Johnson currently sits 29 points ahead of Elsegood on the Series leader-board and was close to claiming a Race 3 win in 2009 until he under-steered over the curb in the wet while leading, then slipped sideways, finally hitting the wall at Turn 1 on the inside and ending his day on the mountain.

There will be a few new additions to the line-up this round including a re-appearance from Adam Bressington who hasn't raced in the Series since 2005. Bressington last raced in a V8 Ute at Bathurst in 2003 and came in fifth.

He will be stepping into Brock Race Engineering's Holden VE, which was driven by Lauren Gray at Phillip Island and Paul Williams earlier in the year with support from local Bathurst pet food conglomerate Pedigree Petfoods.

Brad Patton will be back behind the wheel of the Wicked Energy drink Ford BF and will be joined by brother in-law Rohan Barry who has just purchased the Denis Cribbin/Colin Dunn Ford BF. Barry will be in the Series for the rest of the year.

Perth driver Allan Letcher will be returning to the V8 Ute field for Bathurst. Letcher rolled his WA Lifting Holden six times at the event last year earning the nickname "Rollover". Letcher is an experienced driver having raced at Mt Panorama 13 times before in V8 Utes plus the Bathurst 12 Hour and 24 hour events. The V8 Utes will hit the track on Thursday, 7th October for Practice 1 and 2.

Race 2 and Race 3 will be televised live on Network Seven. Race 2 at 3pm on Saturday, 10th October and Race 3 Sunday, 11th October right before the big race.

-source: aus v8 utes

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Series V8S
Drivers Denis Cribbin , Paul Weel , Grant Johnson , Colin Dunn , Jack Elsegood , David Sieders , Andrew Fisher , Lauren Gray , Brad Patton , Phillip Island
Teams Williams