Making the most of the opportunity to race at the iconic circuit, Gutierrez had been on track for another solid top ten result until a failure of $30 part halted his progress in the final race of the weekend.
The Adelaide based racer wasn’t on the pace of his rivals initially and used Thursday’s two practice sessions as well as Friday’s qualifying to tune his Toyota to the Mount Panorama circuit, ultimately qualifying in 16th amongst the 34 car field.
“Practice and qualifying weren’t the greatest for us pace-wise, but the smile on my face made it all worth it. Plenty of positives to take away. What a track!” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez finally found the sweet spot in the setup of his 86 on Saturday and moved his way forward to finish Race 1 in 11th and Race 2 in 8th and was set to continue that progress until an ABS fault in Sunday’s third race, in the lead up to the Bathurst 1000.
“We reinvent the wheel, tuned everything up and it was a great turn around for us in Race 1 and 2. P11 and P8 were great results.” Gutierrez continued.
“In Race 1, I got a ripper start and got a few off the line and then they started dropping like flys. Race 2 again another great start, got past a couple more through the middle of the race. But at the end, I was just sort of a lone soldier there and wasn’t able to get any closer to the group in front without a tow.”
“We were looking really good to mix it with the leading guys in the third race of the weekend, however, we suffered an ABS fault at the start. I managed to keep out of trouble and limp the car through the opening lap and get back to the pits, but by the time we had reset car we had dropped well behind the rest of the field.”
“When the car gets an ABS fault it goes into limp mode and without ABS it’s pretty much like driving without brakes, something really important at a track like Bathurst.”
“It’s funny how a simple $30 switch can have such an impact. Oh well, that’s motorsport I guess.”
“Honestly, if you took Sunday out the picture, it was quite a solid weekend. Which is really good for championship points and the next round at Sandown is just around the corner.”
“We’ll take the positives of Races 1 and 2 and look build upon that there. A massive thank you to my sponsors and supporters.”
Gutierrez and his family-run team will now prepare for next round of the Toyota 86 Racing Series at the historic Sandown Raceway in Melbourne in November.
George Gutierrez would like to thank his sponsors:
- Plus IT
- ALLTYPE Paints
- Dan’s GYM
- Bright Earth Solar
- Digital Marketing Tribe
- Scaliz Wines
Toyota 86 Racing Series 2019 Schedule:
- Races 1, 2 & 3 Phillip Island – April 12-14
- Races 4, 5 & 6 Townsville – July 5-7
- Races 7, 8 & 9 Bathurst – October 10-13
- Races 10, 11 & 12 Sandown – November 8-10
- Races 13, 14 & 15 Newcastle – November 22-24
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