Utes: Series Townsville Friday notes

Holden Dominates Day One of the V8 Utes in Townsville Local race fans welcomed the Australian V8 Ute Series to North Queensland in style yesterday by lining the streets, as a parade of race Utes were led under police escort through the streets ...

Utes: Series Townsville Friday notes

Holden Dominates Day One of the V8 Utes in Townsville

Local race fans welcomed the Australian V8 Ute Series to North Queensland in style yesterday by lining the streets, as a parade of race Utes were led under police escort through the streets of Townsville.

Drivers signed posters for the crowd at the Riverway Arts Centre before heading to the track today for the one and only practice session for Round 5 of the 2009 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All on the new Townsville Street Circuit.

The 20 minute practice session started at 10am with locally sponsored Ryal "The Kid" Harris setting the benchmark time on the first few laps however this was short-lived with Gary Baxter posting a quicker time of 1:30.95.

Current Series leader Jack "The Hustler" Elsegood then crept to the top until Western Australian Grant "Grunta" Johnson was the first to break the 1:30 mark in a time of 1:29.85 on lap 5.

The Grove Fruit Juice Driver, Johnson, did well to better his time and finish with a 1:29.53.

"I've still got a few things up my sleeve, I've worked out where I can go fast so it should be a great weekend," said Johnson.

Former NASCAR driver Kim Jane, who has dropped back in the Series over the past few rounds, is feeling comfortable on the Townsville track.

"I love street circuits – we had a bad run at Darwin and it's good to be back at a fast track," said Jane.

Baxter the only other driver under the 1:30 mark has been on the come-back since Symmons Plains where he lost the Series lead to Jack Elsegood and is looking to reclaim more lost ground this weekend.

The Adelaide driving instructor is another racer who enjoys street circuits having grown up with the Clipsal circuit, which he won for the first time earlier in the year.

Defending Champion Layton Crambrook ended up the fastest Ford in a time of 1:30.08 followed by George Miedecke and Jack Elsegood.

Queenslander, Kurt Wimmer kept the Holden's in the top ten coming in 7th followed by Charlie "Handlebars" Kovacs and Harris.

Jesus All About Life, driver Andrew Fisher rounded out the top ten with his Ford BF crossing the line in a time of 1:30.70.

Queenland's Brendon Tucker was the first victim of the new Townsville Street Circuit, hitting the wall in his Commodore causing heavy front end damage and withdrawing from the weekend.

Reigning Champ Layton Crambrook also clobbered the concrete in the session, however with only superficial damage to the "Mother" backed Ford.

The Utes will hit the track first up in the morning for Qualifying followed by Race 1 at 12:55, which will be televised live on Network Seven at 2pm EST.

Race 2 will commence at 12:25pm on Sunday followed by Race 3 at 3:40pm.

-credit: utes

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