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Fast Facts V8 Utes at the Sydney 500 (Grand Finale)
Posted by: newsla on Dec 04, 2013 - 06:23 AM
Sports Cars
Fast Facts V8 Utes at the Sydney 500 (Grand Finale)


About the Track
Length: 3.4km
Circuit Direction: Anti-clockwise
V8 Ute Top Average Speed: 114km/h
V8 Ute Lap Record: 1:45.5326 set by Cameron McConville in Race 3 (2012)
Fastest point: Turn 1, end of pit straight
Slowest Point: Mid-corner, last 2 turns (12/13)

 

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Brief description of the circuit: Winding its way around the Sydney Olympic Park complex which hosted the 2000 Olympic Games. Track designers, including five-time Series Champion Mark Skaife, focused on creating a real challenge for the drivers, with a variety of bumps, camber changes and fast and slow corners making it difficult to complete the perfect lap.

1) The Sydney NRMA Motoring & Services 500 marks the final Round (out of 8) of the 2013 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL.

2) Six drivers are still in contention for the Series title including; Ryal Harris (782), Rhys McNally (743), Nathan Pretty (741), David Sieders (706), Kim Jane (681) and Kris Walton (681) with only 101 points between first and sixth place.

Reigning Champion Ryal Harris is leading and will be looking to walk away with back-to-back titles. Only two other drivers have achieved this. (Warren Luff 2002/2003 and Damien White 2004/2005). Grant Johnson also has two titles under his belt but they were three years apart (2007/2010).

Points up for Grabs: 140
Qualifying 1st= 35 points 2nd = 33 points 3rd = 31 points 4th = 29 points; it then reduces one point for every position to 32nd place
Race 1 1st As Above
Race 2 1st As Above
Race 3 1st As Above

3) Finals history:

Grant Johnson and Jack Elsegood have the strongest rivalry in V8 Ute finals history. In 2007, Coopers Clear Racing’s Elsegood was leading the Series heading into the final round and had the title in the bag until he had issues with the car in the final race, giving Johnson the title. Elsegood however was able to redeem himself in 2009 claiming the title after the Sydney Street Race.

In 2010 Grant Johnson was leading the Series by 86 points heading into the round, which was almost guaranteeing him the title over then reigning champion Jack Elsegood. However the weekend was given a shake-up after Johnson was excluded from Qualifying and Race 1 over that weekend due to a front brake line infringement, which put Elsegood within 20 points of the leader heading into the final two races. Johnson was forced to start from the rear of the grid for Race 2 and he fearlessly drove to an amazing fifth place finish, salvaging some valuable points and assuring that he would start a little further up the order for Race Three.

Elsegood started on the front row of the final race alongside Charlie O’Brien but he was unable to beat the veteran and had to settle for second in the race and in the Championship.

Johnson cautiously moved to 15th position, a result that saw him clinch the overall Championship win.

Ryal Harris was close to the title in 2011, until mechanical issues forced him out of Race 2, handing the series win to Chris Pither with David Sieders in second overall. Harris went home with third for the year and so began his rivalry with Sieders.

Sieders is taking over Elsegood’s mantle - “always a Bridesmaid, never a Bride.” He has placed 2nd overall 2 years in a row (2011 and 2012), and after losing his lead in the Series following the Gold Coast event (Sieders was penalized 70 championship points for causing an incident in Race 3) he is now in fourth place.

3) A re-cap on the Championship Lead this year: Ryal Harris has held the lead for the majority of the year (5 rounds) but only just. Pretty had the title after claiming the first round of the year until Harris swept in and took the lead off Pretty who was unfortunate to have engine troubles and was unable to compete in the Qualifying session in Perth. Harris held onto the lead after Round 3 in Darwin and again after Townsville and Sandown. Pretty would have taken back the lead after Qualifying at Bathurst, but due to being underweight by 1kg was disqualified from that session. David Sieders had almost a clean sweep of the round, and walked away with the Series lead until the Gold Coast, Race 3, when he caused an accident and was penalised 70 Championship Points, dropping him to fourth. Going unnoticed on the ENZED Drivers Championship Leaderboard was Rhys McNally, who although hasn’t lead the Series yet, is sitting in second coming into the final Round. McNally only has one Race win under his belt but managed to stand on Podium four times this year.

4) Elliot Barbour has claimed the 2013 Yokohama V8 Ute Rookie of the Year Award winning a test in an Erebus Motorsport Car. His points tally cannot be matched by rival’s Adam Marjoram, Jesse Dixon and Matt Nolan. Barbour sits only 5 points shy of 10th place heading into the final round.

5) Cameron “Conkers” McConville was unstoppable last year; he set a new Qualifying record in a time of 1:45.5081, and also set a new Race lap record in Race 1, broke it again in Race 3 and holds it in a time of 1:45.5326 (the only driver to go under 1:46 during a race). George Miedecke set the first lap record in a V8 Ute around Sydney Olympic Park, back in 2009 in a time of 1:47.9107.

6) There are three new additions to the field this round, V8 Ute Veteran Denis Cribbin will return to the field for the first time since Sydney 2011 and will steer the #41 Holden that was driven by ‘Spud’ Wood at the past two rounds. Michael ‘Magic’ Almond is also back for his second round in a V8 Ute, the last time he drove was at Sandown and the South Aussie placed 7th overall for the weekend.

Jack “Ace” Le Brocq will also steer a V8 Ute for the second time when he takes the reins of Warren Millets Wake-up Holden, the last time the Erebus Academy Motorsport Driver raced in a V8 Ute was at Sydney last year as a recipient of the Chris Pither powered by Ice-Break scholarship. Debuting in a V8 Ute this round is Dylan Thomas; Thomas has competed in the Aussie Racing Cars, MINI Challenge, Formula Vee, Australian Manufacturers Championship and Tarmac Rallies and will step behind the wheel of former V8 Ute Champion Jack Elsegood’s Ford.

7) The Utes have raced at Sydney since the events inception in 2009 with Ford dominating taking out three of the four years.

8) Only 29 V8 Utes will take to the Grid at this round (Cam Wilson’s Ford, Adam Marjoram’s Holden and David Sieders Ford were all written off following the Gold Coast accident. Seven out of 29 drivers have competed on the Sydney Olympic Park circuit before.

9) Seven drivers out of the 32 are from Sydney including; Denis Cribbin, Gary MacDonald, David Sieders, Dylan Thomas, Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher, Ben Dunn, and Jeremy Gray hails from Musselbrook in the Hunter Valley region.

10) In 2010, the V8 Utes had their first driver from Japan compete in the Series - Japanese GT driver Ryo Omire. Omire nicknamed himself “Hamburger” as he didn’t’ want to end up squished like a Hamburger when racing. Unfortunately when he took to the track in Race 1 he clouted the wall hard at Turn 8, setting off a chain reaction that claimed Sieders, Fisher, Kim Jane, Gary MacDonald and Nandi Kiss.

Orime’s Holden was totally destroyed, while Jane suffered damaged to the front and rear along with Sieders who took his car to a panel shop to get worked on overnight.

11) Race 2 in 2012 was deemed a non-race after a red flag fell following separate incidents involving a quarter of the field. The incident almost handed Harris the win, with 35 points taken off the table, Harris only had to bring his car home in 15th or better in Race 3 to win the championship. He did even better than that coming home in 4th in the final race.

12) After 11 years Gary “Chucky” Baxter will retire from V8 Ute Racing. Baxter joined the Series in 2002 and full-time in 2003 debuting at his home-track at the Clipsal 500. The South Aussie claimed third overall in the Series in 2004 and 2005 and has never missed around in the entire 11 years. He has driven under the Sage banner the whole time he has raced in the Series and the part-time stunt driver will be missed both on and off the track.

Former driving History:
#58 Ryal “The Kid” Harris – TapOut Energy – Ford
- Former state (QLD) and national Go Kart champion
- selected as junior development saloon driver for Dick Johnson Racing in 2000.
- Joined the V8 Ute Racing Series in 2004, however has only completed three full seasons ’04, ’05 and 2012 before this year.
- tested a V8 Supercar with Paul Morris Motorsport in 2009.
- 2011 claimed 3rd overall for the series.
- 2012 was selected to compete in the TV Series Shannons Supercar Showdown with the prize a drive in the Bathurst 1000. Harris made it to the top ten.
- 2012 V8 Ute Champion

#26 Rhys McNally – Stratco Racing – Holden
- started off in Formula Ford
- 2008: 3rd WA Formula Ford Championship, 3rd Island Magic
- 2009: 2nd WA Formula ford Championship - Joined the V8 Ute Racing Series in 2010 and came runner-up in the Rookie of the Year title
- celebrated his first V8 Ute Win in 2010 Gold Coast 600
- claimed his first V8 Ute Round Podium in 2012

#56 Nathan “Nitrous” Pretty – Milwaukee Racing – Holden
- Pretty was leading the Series for three rounds of the year (Round 2, 3 and 4)
- Ran in the V8 Utes in 2001 for a few rounds.
- This is Pretty’s second full season in the V8 Utes he raced as his alter-ago Randy Corners in Sydney in 2010.
- 2002 Bathurst 24hr winner
- 2006 V8 Development series when he drove the Smith’s Trucks sponsored Commodore to a fifth place series finish.
- competed at Bathurst 13 times in the Bathurst 1000 placing in the top ten for six times.
- Fourth in a Holden Young Lions Commodore in 2002 with Rick Kelly and eighth with Jack Perkins in 2008
- he has three world Jet Boat titles under his belt.

#8 David “Sideways” Sieders – Mine Site Fencing Australia - Ford
- debuted in motorsport in 2002 in Super Trucks
- 2006 Ford Performance Test and development driver
- 2009 V8 Supercar debut finishing his first race inside the top 15
- 2010 joined the V8 Ute Series and won the round and the Armor All Pole Award on debut. Sieders went on to claim the 2010 V8 Ute Rookie of the year title.
- 2011 Sieders claimed second overall for the year.
- 2012 claimed second overall for the year.

#27 Kim “The Assassin” Jane – Bob Jane T-Marts – Holden
- Jane had his first ever race at Sandown in an EH Holden when he was just 17
- Jane has raced in Production Cars, Bathurst 12 Hour (early 1990’s),
- Bathurst 12 hour (1990’s)
- American NASCAR & Australian NASCAR Series which he won from 1996 – 2000
- V8 Supercars
- 2009 celebrated his 150th Race start,
He also raced NASCAR in Japan, finishing 8th as the first Australian home, and has continued the Jane family heritage of motor racing involvement pioneered by his Uncle Bob and father Bill’s involvement in the sport from the late 50’s.
- started in the V8 Ute Series in 2003
- 2012, Bathurst, celebrated 250 race starts

#68 Kris “Killa” Walton – Rentco Racing – Ford
- former QLD Saloon car champion
- won Race 2 on debuted in the V8 Ute Series at Sandown 2011
- claimed the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award

Past Sydney Podium winners:
2012
1st Cameron “Conkers” McConville Holden
2nd Nathan “Nitrous” Pretty Holden
3rd David “Sideways” Sieders Ford

2011
1st David “Sideways” Sieders Ford
2nd Cameron “Conkers” McConville Holden
3rd Chris “Crispy” Pither Holden

2010
1st Charlie “Charlie” O’Brien Ford
2nd Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood Ford
3rd Chris “Crispy” Pither Holden

2009
1st George “Slick” Miedecke Ford
2nd Grant “Grunta” Johnson Holden
3rd Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher Ford

Past V8 Ute Championship Winners:
2011 – Chris “Crispy” Pither, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
2010 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
2009 – Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood - Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
2008 – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook – Oran Park Raceway, NSW
2007 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson – Phillip Island, VIC
2006 – Marcus “Mayhem” Zukanovic – Gold Coast Street Circuit, QLD
2005 – Damien “Ice” White – Symmons Plains, TAS
2004 – Damien “Ice” White –Mallala Raceway, SA
2003 – Warren “Rock Dog” Luff – Gold Coast Street Circuit, QLD
2002 – Warren “Rock Dog” Luff – Gold Coast Street Circuit, QLD
2001 – Rod “Red Line” Wilson – Sandown Raceway, VIC

Past Podium Outright Series Winners:
2012: 1st Ryal “The Kid Harris,
2nd David “Sideway” Sieders,
3rd Nathan “Nitrous” Pretty

2011: 1st Chris “Crispy” Pither,
2nd David “Sideway” Sieders,
3rd Ryal “The Kid Harris

2010: 1st Grant “Grunta” Johnson,
2nd Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood,
3rd Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher

2009: 1st Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood,
2nd Grant “Grunta” Johnson,
3rd George “Slick” Miedecke

2008: 1st Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook,
2nd Kim “The Assassin” Jane,
3rd Grant “Grunta” Johnson

2007 - 1st Grant “Grunta” Johnson 714,
2nd Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood 699
3rd Kim “The Assassin” Jane 582

2006 - 1st Marcus “Mayhem” Zukanovic 769,
2nd Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood 732,
3rd Grant “Grunta” Johnson

2005 1st Damien “Ice” White 634,
2nd Marcus “Mayhem” Zukanovic 626,
3rd Gary “Chucky” Baxter 601

2004 1st Damien “Ice” White 497,
2nd Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood 368,
3rd Gary “Chucky” Baxter 312

2003 1st Warren “Rockdog” Luff 363,
2nd Gary “Macca” MacDonald 326.5,
3rd James “Thrustor” Brock 246.5

2002 1st Warren “Rockdog” Luff 1006,
2nd Damien “Ice” White 913,
3rd Gary “Macca” MacDonald 904

2001: 1st Rod “Redline” Wilson
2nd Damien “Ice” White
3rd Gary “Growler” Young

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