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MEDIA RELEASE/George Gutierrez – Photo: Velocity Magazine

Consistent top tens at Sandown show progress for South Australian racer George Gutierrez in his second season in the Toyota 86 Racing Series.

The Plus IT backed driver ended the weekend with a 10th and 11th place results in a dramatic penultimate round to the one-make series at the historic Sandown Raceway, just outside of Melbourne, which saw the third and final race abandoned after a spectacular crash on the opening lap.

Big crashes were a theme of the event with qualifying interrupted by two red flag stoppages, leaving Gutierrez, who kept out of trouble all weekend, only able to complete a single fast lap time leaving him to start the first race from 12th.

After the weekend, the young South Australian was happy with his results given the drama.

“At the end of the day it was a good weekend, I’m pretty happy that we had the pace to mix it with the leaders,” said Gutierrez.

“In the first race, once we were clear of the rest of the field I could match the pace of the leaders, but I just couldn’t get any closer without a draft, which is important on the long straights. But they didn’t get away from me either.”

“The second race was a bit easier and I was able to move forward a couple of positions.”

“Ideally I would have qualified a bit better. Given it was our first dry running I wanted to build up on it and there isn’t really much you can do when the session just stops like that.”

“The weather was tricky all weekend, constantly changing, but we adapted really well and we kept out of all the trouble. So that’s something positive that we can take away from Sandown.”

Now, with the final round just two weeks away, Gutierrez’s attention turns to improving his championship standings.

He currently sits in 11th in the Toyota 86 Racing Series standings, but with 300 points up for grabs, he has his eyes on eighth position.

“I feel we’ve definitely improved this year in my second year in the series, so I’m hoping we can finish the year up strong.” Gutierrez added.

“A couple of good results and we can be easily inside the top ten at the end of Newcastle. Realistically I think eighth is achievable, but it is motorsport and anything can happen. Just like we’ve seen this weekend. ”

Gutierrez and his family-run team will now prepare for the final round of the Toyota 86 Racing Series on the streets of Newcastle (NSW) in  a little over a weeks time.


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