Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher and Rookie Elliot Barbour are testing at Wakefield Park today in preparation for Round Two of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL – at Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin from June 14-16.
Although testing for speed, Fisher is also testing out the new Xtreme twin plate clutch, manufactured by Adelaide-based Australian Clutch Services. The new kit is due to be implemented prior to Round Five at Sandown Raceway, pending a satisfactory test.
Category Manager Craig Denyer said: “The clutch is being developed to better suit the Tremec TR660 Gearbox, which will result in faster shift times and lower maintenance costs. It will be a great fit with the Australian Transmission Components control gearbox and the RipShift manual shifter. If the test is successful, the twin plate Xtreme Clutch kit will be implemented into all of the 16 Ford and 16 Holden’s for the second half of the season."
Fisher is so far pleased with how the Xtreme Clutch feels in the car and is looking forward to further testing.
“I just had the first session with the Clutch and so far so good, we haven’t really pushed it yet but we need to give the flat shifting more of a test, it’s giving much shorter throw in regards to engagement, the pickup points are shallower, the clutch pedal takes getting used to, but once you’ve got your head around that it makes for a quicker shift between gears and it improves the way the gearbox and clutch work together with the new RipShifter,” Fisher said.
Barbour is happy to leave the testing to his Sieders Racing teammate and focus on preparing his Absolutely Environmental/Guide Dogs Victoria Ford FG for his first outing at the Darwin track.
The Melbourne based racer is currently leading the V8 Ute Rookie of the Year title, although having raced in the V8 Supercar Development Series last year, this will be his first time racing at the Hidden Valley Circuit – and the young gun can’t wait.
“The test is going good so far, we’ve already had two sessions and Fish (Andrew Fisher), is trying out the new clutch and I’m banging around on old tyres trying to get used to the car. I can’t wait to go to Darwin, it looks like a good track and good racing, I can’t wait to get up there into the sunshine,” he said with a grin.
Falling down the Rookie ladder slightly at the last round, with pressure from Auto One racer Adam Marjoram and Jesse Dixon, Barbour is looking to hold onto his lead.
“Obviously I want to hold onto the lead and get some better points to not only jump up the Rookie ladder but also in the Championship as well,” said Barbour.
Barbour currently sits seventh overall in the ENZED Drivers Championship only five points ahead of fellow Rookie Dixon (Hayman Reese Racing). Gold Coaster Ryal Harris is leading the Series 44 points ahead of Barbour and a mere seven points ahead of Rhys McNally in second and 17 in front of Gary Baxter and David Sieders in equal third.
Both drivers are keen for an extra race at the Sky City Triple Crown Event. With four races a new qualifying session and two practice sessions, the weekend is sure to be full of non-stop entertainment. Races Two and Four will be televised live through Network Seven (check local guides for full details).