Battle of the V8 Ute Rookies goes down to the final round With only one round of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All remaining, the battle is slowly coming to a close for the Racer Industries Rookie of the Year title,...
Battle of the V8 Ute Rookies goes down to the final round
With only one round of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All remaining, the battle is slowly coming to a close for the Racer Industries Rookie of the Year title, which will see the winner grab a test ride in a V8 Supercar and receive the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy.
Front-runners, Paul Williams and Gary Carson are only 31 points apart heading into round 8 and have been neck and neck throughout the year.
West Australian based Williams took an early lead coming out of the first round at Clipsal, 27 points ahead of Carson but this wasn't going to stop the former Australian Manufacturers Championship winner, who fought back in Round 2 at Winton boasting his best round for the year with a top ten qualifying and 11th overall finish, which took him within 11 points of Williams.
"It was a great feeling to finally get on top of the Rookie ladder, we were lucky that our best round was Williams worst," said Carson.
Selectv driver, Carson held onto his good run and took the lead after Round 3 at Symmons Plains finishing 10 places ahead of Williams who had to retire from Race 1 due to radiator issues. The Wollongong performance driver continued his lead out of Round 4 a mere 12 points ahead of the GBF Underground Mining rival, Williams.
Round 5 saw another flip in the leader-board, Carson had one of his worst rounds retiring after Race 1 when he went into the back of Noel Edge, destroying any hope of returning to the track for the remainder of the weekend.
It was the opposite for the West Aussie who seemed to take well to the Townsville heat and had one of his best rounds claiming 16th position in Race 1, which gave him pole position for Race 2 reverse grid start.
Williams has held onto the round ever since and is confident he has the title in the bag.
"Unless we are forced to sit out a race we should be pretty comfortable," said Williams.
"It would mean a lot to win, it was my main goal and if I win I will definitely kick-on in the Utes for another year. It would be great to get the supercar test, being my age it would be my ultimate goal to drive in the Supercar Series," explained "Dusty".
Carson won't let go of the title without a fight. The former team manager for Ashley Cooper is eager to take home the sentimental Trophy.
"Ashley was a great guy and an amazing driver, it would be an absolute honour to be able to accept a trophy in his name, I just have to push hard at Sydney and hopefully take home the Rookie win," said Carson.
"I'm just heading there with a clear mind to do what I can and at the end of the day Paul is the one with the pressure on him, if he makes a mistake it will be all over," said Carson.
Ashley passed away on 25th February 2008 after a fatal accident at the Clipsal 500 event in Adelaide in a V8 Supercar.
Another Rookie that deserves a mention is iseek Racings, Jason Gomersall. The Queenslander has had a rough year, not only was he a rookie to the Series but so was his entire team who have learned things the hard-way, with a few penalties going their way due to "Rookie" error but have also succeeded in doing what they set out to do this year.
"l know I'm not that fast around the track at the moment but all I want to do is improve at each round and I will be happy," Gomersall said earlier in the year.
The Rookies will take to the track for the final round of the Series at the Sydney Telstra 500, Sydney Olympic Stadium 4 - 6 December.