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Jun 27, 2014 - 07:04 AM
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Local Lad Gears Up For Hot V8 Ute Townsville Street Fight
Posted by: newsla on Jun 27, 2014 - 07:03 AM
Sports Cars
Local Lad Gears Up For Hot V8 Ute Townsville Street Fight


Graham “Local Lad” Edwards will join a stellar 32 strong V8 Ute field heading into Round 4 of the Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath Café at the Castrol Townsville 400 next weekend, 4 – 6 July.

 

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Townsville driver Edwards will make his fourth appearance at his local track. He debuted in the V8 Utes in Townsville in 2010, and raced at home again in 2011 and 2013. He has competed in 4 other V8 Ute rounds including 2011 Clipsal 500, 2011 Sandown 500 and the 2011 ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600. He has been busy practicing on his simulator and in local Billy Kart Racing to prepare for the weekend.

“We’ve been doing Billy Kart Racing till 1am, just in mates’ backyards or in my own; I have three tracks at home. I’m hoping to run top 15 so hopefully all of the late nights will pay off. I have great support from a company in Burdekin and also here in Townsville and I can’t wait to hit the track, the local support is always a thrill and its great racing in front of the family,” said Edwards.

Queenslander driver Kris Walton leads the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship by a mere 2 points over Sydney’s David Sieders.

“We are fast at the moment and have been having a great year so far, so if we just continue how we’ve been racing the last few rounds, we should walk away with the lead. I just need to make sure Dave (Sieders) is behind me the whole weekend,” said Walton.

Sieders came off a dominating performance and Round win at Darwin last week, but is yet to stand on the podium or even win a race at the Townsville Street Circuit and is hoping to change that this weekend.

“The podium at Townsville has always eluded me more than any other track I’ve ever been to. If I do have a bad weekend I just need to make sure it’s not as bad as the others especially Walton, I need to cut out the bad weekends like the previous three years and be more consistent,” said Sieders.

GoPro Racing’s Nathan Pretty will be out to put some points on the board this weekend. The Victorian moved into second in the Series last year after he walked away with the Round win, the ARMOR ALL Pole Award and Race 3 win.

“We’ll put Darwin behind us, it’s always been a bogey round for us, so we’ll press on for Townsville, I did well there last year so hopefully we can repeat what we did,” said Pretty.

Grant Johnson will continue to drive a Ford this weekend; the two-time V8 Ute Champion has the best track record at the event, with two race wins and three podiums (2nd 2011 & 2010, 3rd 2009.) He will be joined in the Hi-tech Motorsport camp by former HQ Champion and MINI Challenge racer Peter McNiven, who will debut at the round in Danny Buzadzic’s Ford (driven by Johnson in Darwin.) McNiven has backing from local company VIBE Audio and is looking to stay in the Ute for a few more rounds throughout the year (Sandown, Bathurst).

“Townsville suited me well when I raced in the MINI’S and it’s one of the reasons we decided to start our V8 Ute campaign there. I tested with Grant (Johnson) at Barbagallo last month and I’m feeling pretty confident. I was a lot faster than I initially expected to be. I’m looking forward to having Grant on my team, considering his experience and advice and he’s the perfect yard stick to compare yourself to,” explained McNiven.

Another driver will cross the Tasman for the Townsville weekend, Kiwi V8 Ute Regular James “Huggi” Urquhart. The Karaka resident will return to the Australian Series this round in the #11 Peters Motorsport Holden. He last drove at Bathurst in 2012 representing team New Zealand.

See below full race schedule:
Friday, 4th July Practice 1 8:30am
Friday, 4th July Practice 2 12:15pm
Friday, 4th July Qualifying 3:20pm
Saturday, 5th July Race 1 8:15am
Saturday, 5th July Race 2 12:35pm
Saturday, 6th July Race 3 10:15am
Race 1 and Race 3 will be televised live as through 7Mate, Race 1 Saturday, 5th July at 12pm AEST and Race 3 12:30pm AEST (check local guides).


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