TWO-time V8 ute champion Grant Johnson will race his Holden VE for the first time this year in the V8 Ute Racing Series at Barbagallo Raceway this weekend.
The Wanneroo father of two won the round in 2008 and 2011 and has held the lap record since 2008.
“I’ve always been pretty strong at Barbagallo and don’t see why this time will be any different,” he said.
“We are a bit behind where the other teams are, having not run all year but we don’t think that will be detrimental to the result.
“We are pretty happy with everything that happened with testing and we are moving in the right direction. John (Pachos, team manager) is one of the best engineers in Australia so how can we not win?”
Sixty-one-year-old Rick Gill, a WA Sporting Car Club committee member, will also make a return to his home track.
“It’s exciting to be back in the utes,” he said.
“I always have a great time racing them and especially in front of a home crowd.
“I love racing at Barbagallo and it will be good to post some more good results this time round.”
Series leader Nathan Pretty is confident his Holden will be fast around the track after claiming third overall at the event last year and setting the lap record at round 2 in Tasmania recently.
There will be five other local drivers in the ute racing, including brothers Rhys and Jake McNally, Allan Letcher, wildcard driver Adam Marjoram and rookie Travis Sharpe.