George Gutierrez Takes Positives From Debut SuperUtes Season
The six-round 2022 campaign culminated on concrete-lined streets of Surfers Paradise alongside the beach as part of the Repco Supercars Championship’s Gold Coast 500.
Despite a difficult final two rounds where minor mechanical gremlins took the South Australian out of contention for the overall series title. Eight race podiums, including a race win in Perth, have given the 25-year-old plenty to build upon ahead of next season.
“What a year! Now we have time to sit down and look at the positives,” said Gutierrez.
“This year was always going to be a steep learning curve for us. A new car to understand and four of the six rounds held at tracks I’d never driven on before.”
“But we still walked away as a race winner and took home time silverware. I also think we have caught the attention of a few people who didn’t expect much of us this year.”
“If you take the mechanical failures out of the equation, we should have finished well inside the top 3 of the championship but it just wasn’t meant to be. We will regroup over the off-season now and give the title a good crack next year.”
“Obviously we’re still waiting on a calendar to be finalised, but if we can go to most tracks we went to this year I think we will be in for a really good year.”
While reflecting on the year, Gutierrez also had plenty to take away from the final round on the Gold Coast. His first time racing on the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
“How good are street circuits and kerbs! This track is wicked.” said the South Australian.
On a track where the consequences are huge, Gutierrez took a calculated approach to build up confidence as the weekend progressed. Especially with just one practice session ahead of qualifying.
After qualifying eighth, the driver nicknamed ‘El Gringo’ moved up the order to sixth by the end of Race 1.
Unfortunately in Race 2, the throttle body on his Holden Colorado SuperUte failed, forcing Gutierrez to retire after just two laps. He would return for Race 3 where he scored an eighth-place result after starting from the rear of the grid.
Race 4 would also result in a DNF after a differential failure in the season’s final race.
Despite 3 DNFs in the final six races, Gutierrez still managed to finish seventh in the overall standings and will return in 2023 to have a proper crack at the title.
As always, George would like to thank all of his supporters especially Go Sunny Solar, Burson Auto Parts, JC Energy, So Cloudy, Get Displays, MM Electrical Marleston, D&S Resources and Delta Crash Repairs and will make further announcements about his plans for next season in due course.