Utes: Series Hidden Valley summary

Chuckie Gets Lucky as Johnson Blows Winning Chance Holden driver Gary "Chuckie" Baxter claimed victory today in round four of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All at Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin. The Adelaide veteran ...

Utes: Series Hidden Valley summary

Chuckie Gets Lucky as Johnson Blows Winning Chance

Holden driver Gary "Chuckie" Baxter claimed victory today in round four of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All at Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin. The Adelaide veteran has now moved into third position in the Series behind Darwin born Layton Crambrook and series leader Coopers Pale Ale driver Jack Elsegood.

The Sage Automation driver made up two places in the Series since his dismal round at Symmons Plains, managed a fourth in Race 2 off his 15th grid position start and had a screaming finish against Grant "Grunta" Johnson to win Race 3 and the round.

Johnson had a great start in the final race, which earned him the CI Performance Hole Shot Award and held the lead until lap 2 when Baxter passed him in Turn 1. Johnson however reclaimed his spot again on lap 5 and stayed in front until slipping off the road and letting Baxter through.

"It was when Baxter was passing me I felt the tyre go, I was just hoping it would last me for the next lap and a half and it did," said Johnson.

Local Layton Crambrook, who was coming off a high from winning Race 2 earlier in the day, saw the chance to take Johnson who was struggling with the flat tyre which let go with 200 metres to the flag, giving the Grove Fruit Juice driver third in Race 3 and second overall in the Round.

Crambrooks' second in Race 3 earned him third overall in the round and secured second in the Series.

Charlie Kovacs was lucky to manage a fourth in Race 3 after he failed to adhere to a mechanical black flag for a failing side skirt and as a result he was penalised 10 championship points but held onto his top ten spot in the Series. Kovacs blamed faulty radio communication for not obeying the directions of the officials.

After a sensational second in Race 2, West Coast Racings Glenn McNally, Elsegood and #32 Kurt Wimmer were hustling for fifth in Race 3 and ended up fifth, sixth and seventh consecutively.

Rounding out the Top Ten was Stephen Robinson, Lubrimaxx Racings George Miedecke and Thirsty Camels Craig Dontas. Dontas was unlucky in Race 2 to lose his third spot and drop back to finish in 14th Position after being tagged by Jack Elsegood under brakes in Turn One. "The Hustler" was given a post race drive through penalty for going in too hard under brakes.

The loss of points for Elsegood has dramatically closed up the Championship point score.

Just missing out on the Top 10 in Race 3 was Mangomedia's Yanis Derums who started on pole for the second time this year in Race 2 and managed to hold his ground for most of the race to end with third overall.

The Armor All Best Presented Award went to Paul Williams who is only trailing the Racer Industries Rookie of the Year ladder by a few points behind Wollongong's Gary Carson.

Robert Jarvis claimed the SS Inductions Hard Charger Award for passing 13 Utes in Race 2 and went from 29th position to end the race in 15th. This is the first time Jarvis has won the award in the seven years he has raced the Utes and is over the Moon.

"This is fantastic. I am going to spend the $500 on my sponsor, wife Julie," said Jarvis.

Only 10 points now separate Elsegood from Crambrook with both Baxter and Johnson now back in the chase, while George Miedecke has dropped backed to 5th overall.

The V8 Utes will head to Townsville next for Round 5 of the Series, Friday, 10th – Sunday 12th July.

To catch all the highlights from Hidden Valley Raceway tune into Network Seven, Saturday, 27th June at 1:30pm (EST).

-credit: utes

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