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Fast Facts About The V8 Utes At Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 07:02 AM
Sports Cars
Fast Facts About The V8 Utes At Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin

About the Circuit:
Length: 2.87km long
Turns: 14
Fastest Average Speed: 122 kph
Hidden Valley Raceway has one of the fastest straights at 1.1km long.


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V8 Ute Races at Darwin: The V8 Ute Series has completed a total of 279 laps and 879.43km around Hidden Valley Raceway over the past 7 years.

The Darwin weather is yet to disappoint, the V8 Utes haven’t had one wet race at the top end over the past 9 years.

1) The V8 Utes have raced at Hidden Valley nine times including; 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, making this the V8 Utes 10th anniversary at Hidden Valley Raceway. Only the Adelaide Parklands track rivals it in V8 Ute appearances.

2) Round 3 will be known as the 2014 Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath. The Family Steakhouse has come on board as naming rights for the Round.

3) Lap Record History: Gary Baxter set the first ever lap record in 2005 in Race 1 in a time of 1:24.08 and held onto it until 2006 when it was broken by Kerry Wade in a time of; 1:23.57. Grant Johnson beat it two races later and held onto the record until 2009, when Baxter reclaimed the record.

The current lap record is held by David Sieders, Sieders broke his 2011 (1:22.3675) record by one tenth of a second last year (2013) in Race 1 and now holds it with a time of 1:22.2610. Sieders originally broke Grant Johnson’s record set in Race 1 2010 in a time of 1:22.88. Although Johnson still broke his lap record that year, by almost two hundredths of a second, he was out-qualified by both Sieders and 2011 champion Chris Pither.

In 2011 Sieders also broke Marcus Zukanovic’s longstanding Qualifying record, which was set in 2006 in in a time of 1:21.8499. Pither broke Sieders’ 2011 record (1:21.5715) last year by only seven 100ths of a second 1:21.5028. He pipped Sieders by two-tenths of a second to take the 2013 ARMOR ALL Pole Award.

The late Allan Simonsen set the first Qualifying record in a V8 Ute at Hidden Valley in 2005.
Current Lap Record: David Sieders - 1:22.2610
Current Qualifying Record: Chris Pither - 1:21.5028

4) Race 3 in 2007 was the closest ever V8 Ute race finish with Jack Elsegood passing Grant Johnson in a photo finish by one one-hundredth of a second to claim the round, putting Elsegood into the Series lead. He held onto the lead until the final round at Phillip Island where he had mechanical failure and Johnson took the Series title.

Hidden Valley boasts three out of the four closest ever V8 Ute finishes. The other two were in 2006 - Kim Jane pipped Damien White by only 0.0544s, and in 2009 Layton Crambrook almost stole the podium from Grant Johnson when he beat him to the chequered flag by a mere 0.0570s to claim Race 3.

The event also showcased one of the biggest race winning margins the fourth of all time, in 2009 Race 1, Grant Johnson blitzed the field by 10.5590seconds. Charlie Kovacs was the second driver over the line.

5) 2011 Series frontrunners Chris Pither, Grant Johnson and David Sieders all had a coming together at turn 5 Race 2 in 2010, Cameron McConville was also caught up in the incident breaking his front strut forcing him into the pits. Pither was lucky to get the Ice Break Holden over the line, ending the race without his front bar and finished in 22nd overall.

6) Kim Jane is the only driver out of the 32 V8 Ute drivers competing in the 2014 Season that has raced at Hidden Valley all nine times and will celebrate his 10th anniversary at the Darwin circuit along with the category.

7) Only four drivers will be racing a V8 Ute around Hidden Valley Raceway for the first time including; Phil Woodbury, Aaron Borg, Michael Almond and Andrew Nickolls.

After two rounds racing in a Ford FG with Big Gun Racing, General Carrying Driver Matt Nolan will move back to the Holden camp of Murphy Motorsport.

8) Aaron Borg will debut in a V8 Ute at this Round and will step in for Ben Dunn in his Ford FG. Borg, whom was diagnosed with a heart condition (sub-aortic stenosis) at a young age, was motivated to get well by his parents, with the promise of driving a Go Kart when he was better, it worked. He started walking again, drove in his first competition at age 10 and raced in various state titles from age 16. After six years of competitive Go Karting, the now 24 year was discovered by V8 Ute driver Andrew Fisher and will race in his first V8 Ute Race under the Jesus Racing driver development program.

9) John “Spud” Wood had a debut he will never forget at Hidden Valley Raceway last year. In Race 3, 2013 Peter Burnitt helicoptered into the Tyre Barrier at Turn 4 whilst “Spud” Wood pirouetted into the sky avoiding the Burnitt incident. Wood’s car was completely written off by the incident.

10) V8 Ute Comebacks: Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs, Michael Almond and Cam Wilson will return to the V8 Ute Field this Round. Almond last raced in the V8 Utes at Sandown 2013.

Kovac’s, widely known for his trademark ‘Handlebars” moustache, was one of the first nine drivers to compete in the Series back in 2001, he was the first driver to accomplish 200 race starts and is the longest standing V8 Ute shareholder.

The South Aussie last raced in Perth in 2011, and his last full year in the Series was in 2010.

After an unlucky run at the end of 2013 and the start of the 2014 season, Cam ‘Slideways’ Wilson will return to the V8 Ute Field. His first mishap was at the Gold Coast 600 last year when he was caught up in an incident at the back chicane, destroying his Ford FG. He was unable to repair the car until the beginning of this season and unfortunate for the Go Karting Gold Coast owner ,his brand new Ute was written off in the last two minutes of qualifying at Round 1, Clipsal 500 after major contact with Jordan Skinner’s Holden. Wilson was unable to finish the remainder of the round and missed Round 2 of the series in Perth with his new ute still be built. This will be “Slideways” first race since Race 3 on the Gold Coast last year.

11) Kim “The Assassin” Jane was unlucky in his seventh appearance at Darwin in 2012 when he hit the tyre bundle going into Turn 1 and rolled onto its roof during Race 3. Jane made it out of the car and was rushed to the medical centre as a precaution but was deemed OK.

Jane’s rollover caused the second safety car of the race. The first came when Bundaberg Racing’s Cameron McConville and Craig Dontas made contact at the first turn on the first lap. McConville retired for the race and was penalised 15 championship points for the incident.

12) Grant “Grunta” Johnson has the best track record at Hidden Valley posting five out of six possible podiums including three wins (2006, 2009, 2010), one second (2007) and one third (2005).

13) ARMOR ALL Drivers’ Championship: Kris Walton is leading the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship heading into this Round on 245 points ahead of David Sieders 236, Ryal Harris 208, Andrew Fisher on 206 and Craig Dontas in equal fifth with teammate Nathan Pretty and Hayman Reese Racing’s Jesse Dixon all on 204 points.

Walton is yet to win a race at Hidden Valley Raceway, whilst Sieders has qualified on pole twice. Harris will be going for his third Hidden Valley Round win in a row. If he wins he will equal Grant Johnson’s Round wins at the event.

14) Points: There is a total of 140 points up for grabs on the weekend.

The point system award’s the top three place getters with bonus points. First place will receive 35 points, second place 33 points, third place 31 points and fourth place 29 points; it then reduces one point for every position to 32nd place.

The determination of the Grids is determined as follows. Race 1 Grid is determined by Qualifying. Race 2 grid is determined by a random ballot drawn by the Race 1 winner. The number that is drawn is the number of Utes that will be reversed on the grid for that race. The Grid for Race 3 will be a progressive grid from the finishing positions of Race 2, the grid for Race 4 will be determined by the highest aggregate points earned from the results of Race 1, 2 and 3. (Qualifying points not included.) In the event of a tie, the highest grid position will go to the fastest qualifier.

The three session qualifying format will also be run at this Round. The format, similar to the qualifying system used in Formula 1, features a 30 minute session broken up into 3 individual segments. Qualifying 1 will include all 32 V8 Utes and after 10 minutes, the top 20 fastest drivers will continue into Qualifying 2, for a shorter 7 minute session. The top 10 drivers from this session will then start Qualifying 3, a short 5 minute session allowing for a 1 or 2 lap shootout. The fastest lap times will then determine the top ten grid for the start of Race 1, with the balance of the grid filled as they drop off in lap time from each segment.

Television Broadcast:
Race 1 and Race 3 will be televised as live or live on the Seven Network.
Event Schedule:
Friday, 20th June Practice 1 9:35am
Friday, 20th June Practice 2 1:50pm
Saturday, 21st June Qualifying 10:25am
Saturday, 21st June Race 1 3:21pm
Sunday, 22nd June Race 2 11:00am
Sunday, 22nd June Race 3 1:15pm

Previous Race and Round Winners:
1) Ryal “The Kid” Harris
2) Kim “The Assassin” Jane
3) David “Sideways” Sieders

Qualifying: Chris Pither
Race 1: Chris “Crispy” Pither
Race 2: Ryal “The Kid” Harris
Race 3: Ryal “The Kid” Harris
Race 4: Ryal “The Kid” Harris

1) Ryal “The Kid” Harris
2) David “Sideways” Sieders
3) Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher

Qualifying: David “Sideways” Sieders
Race 1 - David “Sideways” Sieders
Race 2 - Ryan “Rhino” Hansford
Race 3 - David “Sideways” Sieders
Race 4 - Ryal “The Kid” Harris

1) Kim “The Assassin” Jane
2) David “Sideways” Sieders
3) Ryan “Rhino” Hansford

Qualifying - David “Sideways” Sieders
Race 1 – David “Sideways” Sieders
Race 2 – Charlie O’Brien
Race 3 – Ryan “Rhino” Hansford
Race 4 – Ryal “The Kid” Harris

1) Grant “Grunta” Johnson
2) Kim The Assassin” Jane
3) Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood

Qualifying - Grant “Grunta” Johnson
Race 1 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson
Race 2 – Kim “The Assassin” Jane
Race 3 - Grant “Grunta” Johnson

1) Grant “Grunta” Johnson
2) Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook
3) Glenn “Evil” McNally

Qualifying – Grant “Grunta” Johnson
Race 1 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson
Race 2 – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook
Race 3 – Gary “Chucky “ Baxter
(Baxter was later charged with a technical infringement handing the race win to Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook)
Race 4 – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook

1) Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook
2) Kim “The Assassin” Jane
3) George “Slick” Miedecke

Qualifying – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook
Race 1 – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook
Race 2 – George Miedecke
Race 3 – Layton “Leadfoot” Crambrook

1) Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood
2) Grant “Grunta” Johnson
3) Gary “Chucky” Baxter

Qualifying – Matt Kingsley
Race 1 – Gary “Chucky” Baxter
Race 2 – Ray “Sidey” Sidebottom
Race 3 – Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood

1) Grant “Grunta” Johnson
2) Marcus “Mayhem” Zukanovic
3) Kim “The Assassin” Jane

Qualifying – Marcus “Mayhem” Zukanovic
Race 1 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson
Race 2 – Kim “The Assassin” Jane
Race 3 – Grant “Grunta” Johnson

1) Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood
2) Rod “Red Line” Wilson
3) Grant “Grunta” Johnson

Qualifying – Allan “Enzo” Simonsen
Race 1 – Allan “Enzo” Simonsen
Race 2 – Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood
Race 3 – Jack “The Hustler” Elsegood

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