19 year old Todd Hazelwood will enter Round 5 of the 2015 East Coast Bullbars Australian V8 Ute Racing Series, at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, 11 – 13 September at Sandown Raceway, VIC.
The 2013 Shannon’s Supercar Showdown winner is a regular with Matt Stone Racing in his Dunlop Development V8 Supercar and he’s looking forward to joining the experienced V8 Ute Team in the All Purpose Pest Control Ford, alongside George Miedecke and two-time champion Ryal Harris.
“I’m very excited, I’ve watched the Utes since I was a young kid, the field is very competitive and very tough and I’m looking forward to sharpening my skills.
“Being associated with Matt Stone Racing over the past few years, I know Ryal and George well, they are both great drivers in their own right and it will be great to share data and learn from the best in the field. It will make the learning process a lot quicker, the Utes are a beast to tame, they are very different to Supercars so I’ll have to learn a few tricks to get my head around them before I can put down some competitive times,” said Hazelwood.
The former Formula Ford and Formula 3 competitor is now in his second year in the Dunlop Development Series, last year claiming 8th overall and taking out the 2014 Mike Kable Young gun award. He is currently running fifth in this year’s Championship.
Teammate Ryal Harris had his first outing with Matt Stone Racing at Sandown Raceway last year and claimed the round, he is currently leading the Series however the lead has diminished after an average performance at Townsville.
“I won Sandown last year but I had Jesse Dixon all over me, it was my first meeting with Matt Stone and the car was fast,” explained Harris who is getting married to his long-time partner Casey this weekend.
He hasn’t had a lot of time in the car of late but is looking forward to the weekend and having Hazelwood as a teammate.
“Todd is a good driver, he runs up the front in the development series and it will be good for him to show how competitive he is in our Series. I haven’t been in the Ute much lately, I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff (his wedding), but I’m looking forward to hitting the track for the first practice session,” said Harris.
Harris will carry extra 40kg success ballast this round leading the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship by 13points, ahead of Adam Marjoram who will carry 30kg and David Sieders in 3rd will add 20kg to his Ute.
Two-time Sandown podium sitter, Kris Walton is currently running fourth in the Championship on 488 points, 58 points off Harris and 32 points ahead of teammate Ryan Hansford who is in equal fifth with local driver Kim “The Assassin” Jane.
Jane first raced at Sandown when he was 17years old in an EH Holden. Another driver familiar with the track is Nathan Pretty, who holds the Nations Cup lap record at Sandown Raceway in a Holden Monaro 427 V8, which he set back in 2004.
Both Jane and Pretty have stood on the podium at Sandown in a Ute, but one local who is yet to is son of 1987 Bathurst 1000 winner Peter McLeod, (along with Peter Brock and David Parsons) Gerard McLeod who had his first race win and podium this year.
George Miedecke now also resides in Melbourne and will be looking to move back into the top three after a dismal round in Townsville had him drop back to tenth in the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship.
The V8 Utes will hit the track on Thursday
|Friday, 11th September||Practice 1||10:50am|
|Friday, 11th September||Practice 2||1:30pm|
|Friday, 11th September||Qualifying||4:50pm|
|Saturday, 12th September||Race 1||11:10am|
|Saturday, 12th September||Race 2||2:45pm|
|Sunday, 13th September||Race 3||11:40am|
See below Top five results for the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship
|1 Ryal Harris||Holiday For Life||546|
|2 Adam Marjoram||Auto One Racing / Erebus Motorsport||533|
|3 David Sieders||Mango Credit||513|
|4 Kris Walton||Rentco Transport Equipment Rentals||488|
|5 Kim Jane||Bob Jane T-Marts / Altenzo Tyres / Shark Bite||456|
|6 Ryan Hansford||Multispares||456|
Click here to view full Series results