V8 Utes Series front-runner Nathan Pretty’s Championship title hopes are looking a little bleak after breaking his toe whilst on holidays this week. it's happened just two weeks out from the pinnacle event on the V8 Utes Calendar, Round Six of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL – at Mount Panorama, as part of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Pretty gained 36 points on ENZED Drivers Championship Leader Ryal Harris, moving into second position after claiming the Round at Sandown earlier in the month, and only trails the lead by a mere 11 points.
The Bathurst veteran would be utterly disappointed if his injury took him out of the running for the title.
“It would be devastating to not race at Bathurst. It’s my clutch foot, so I’m hoping it won’t be too much of an issue,” said Pretty.
If Pretty can make it to the track he is in the running to become the first V8 Ute driver to win three consecutive V8 Ute rounds.
“That would be great to add to my list," he said. "I’m pumped and would love to take out that title; it would mean I’ve had an amazing weekend at Bathurst and walked away (or hobbled) with a lot of points in my pocked. I’m feeling confident my foot will hold out for the weekend."
The Victorian has plenty of lap experience around Mount Panorama racing in 13 Bathurst 1000 races with six top 10 finishes, including fourth overall with Rick Kelly in 2002 in the main game.
He also won the inaugural Bathurst 24 hour race with Garry Rogers Motorsport and raced alongside sister Nicole in the Bob Jane T-Marts 99 in a Holden placing fifth overall.
“Yes I’ve done a lot of laps around Bathurst and to win there again and in a V8 Ute is definitely on my hit list,” he said.
Gold Coaster Harris – on Pretty's tail, second in the points – has claimed four V8 Ute races over the past two years at Mount Panorama and isn’t about to let any more points go.
“I’m feeling really confident coming into Bathurst. We’ve always done really well there and I know where to push myself where other drivers don’t. I’m not too worried about Nathan,” Harris said.
Pretty is hoping to hit the track with the rest of the drivers on Thursday October 10 for the utes' first practice session at Mount Panorama as part of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.