AUS Utes: Series celebrates 2010
V8 Utes Celebrate 10 years of Legends, Laughter and Door to Door Racing Over 200 V8 Ute, drivers, partners and special guests descended on Sydney Harbour to celebrate 10 years of door-to-door racing following the final Round of the 2010 Yokohama ...
V8 Utes Celebrate 10 years of Legends, Laughter and Door to Door Racing
Over 200 V8 Ute, drivers, partners and special guests descended on Sydney Harbour to celebrate 10 years of door-to-door racing following the final Round of the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All, on Sunday the 5th December.
Eight former champions were inducted into the V8 Utes Hall of Fame including: Rod Wilson (2001), Warren Luff (2002/03), Marcus Zukanovic (2004/05), Damien White (2006/07), Grant Johnson (2007/10), Layton Crambrook (2008) and Jack Elsegood (2009).
The ceremony was a real testament to the V8 Ute Series being a feeder category to the V8 Supercars with Warren Luff now driving with Golf Western Oil's (Lucus Dumbrell Motorsport), Damien White former Fujitsu driver and Marcus Zukanovic now driving in Fujitsu's and dabbling in the main-game earlier in the year at Phillip Island and Bathurst.
Luff said the V8 Utes were an important stepping stone in his career and that he will always look upon the category with great affection.
"The Utes are a fantastic category and I remember having some interesting races with them over the years, "he said.
"My years racing Ute's really helped in my driving development and has helped get me to where I am today."
V8 Supercar General Manager of Motorsport, Damien White was not only there to accept his induction award but also to represent V8 Supercars.
"It's interesting now that I'm on this side of the fence," he said.
"I know I use to be one of those drivers who would call up Bill and Craig (V8 Ute Category Managers) everyday and ask them when the calendar was coming but now I know it's not that easy."
In addition to the Hall of Fame, the top three drivers of the 2010 season were crowned including West Aussie Grant Johnson who took out the title ahead of teammate Jack Elsegood and Andrew Fisher.
Fisher also claimed the title for the best driver over 40 years of age.
Sydneysider Jack Elsegood was unable to defend his 2009 title, saying he was quite familiar with coming second.
"I remember the first year I came second I didn't like it I remember the second time I came second . I didn't like it I remember when I won last year should have liked it more but this year coming second felt really good as I love competition and Grant gave me a great battle throughout the whole year," he said.
Nulon Oil driver David Sieders although missing out on a podium finish for the weekend had already claimed the V8 Superschool Rookie of the Year Award and the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy, which was presented by Ashley's father Alan.
"It was very special when we heard that the V8 Utes were donating this trophy in Ashley's honour," he said.
"It's taken me a few years to work up to presenting the award but my wife Maree and I are so happy to be here and catch up with our old family."
Hi-Tech Motorsport Manager John Pachos was awarded the Team Manager of the year after two of his cars claimed podium wins including Grant Johnson and Jack Elsegood.
The Most improved driver Award went to Gary Carson who improved nine spots from his Rookie year in 2009.
V8 Ute commentator Wade Aunger was commemorated on his efforts with the company over the past 10 years and was given a standing ovation from all in attendance.
The night was topped off with performances from classically trained David Devito and comedian Brian Doyle.
V8 Ute Racing's official charity Make-A-Wish Australia® made almost $10,000 on the night from donations from Armor All, iseek Racing and a number of guests who participated in an auction.
The V8 Utes have completed over 250 races as a category in their time, and have moved from nine Utes in 2001 to a 32 strong field today.
The V8 Utes have expanded into an international sensation in the past ten years and are now televised on Network Seven, Fox Sports and internationally to up to 32 countries.
The V8 Utes will be back on track again early next year for an eight round Series.
-source: aus v8 utes
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