It's all systems go for Illawarra's Andrew "Fishtail" Fisher and the Jesus Racing Team for the opening round of the 2013 V8 Ute Racing Series at the Clipsal 500 on the Adelaide Parklands track this weekend.
Fisher and the team are well prepared for the challenge awaiting them in the series that comprises 16 Ford and 16 Holden utes.
Fisher was pleased with fifth places in each of two practice sessions leading into racing. He was just three-tenths of a second off first place, an indication of how tight competition is at the top.
Last year Fisher won the first race and finished third in the second and third races in the South Australia capital. He ended the series in fourth place.
This year, round two is at Perth, May 3-5; round three at Darwin, June 14-16; round four at Townsville, July 5-7; round five at Sandown, September 13-15; round six at Mount Panorama, October 10-13; round seven at Surfers Paradise, October 25-27; and round eight at Olympic Park, Sydney, December 6-8.
Fisher drives the Ford Falcon FG No 9.
"We're looking good. We had good race pace out there," Fisher said after practice.
"We had a couple of long runs on old tyres and the car felt pretty good so we're feeling pretty confident.
"We're very happy. We made a few changes to improve the car.
"We've got the right direction going, which is what you want as a race team."
Fisher has been testing the vehicle on his way to Adelaide, taking in such places as Broken Hill and Mildura.
Yesterday he qualified in 11th position.
"It's nice to get behind the wheel of the car and start racing," Fisher said.
Fisher's short-term goal is to win at Clipsal and the long-range aim is to be in a position to take out the championship.
"It's a pretty long season," he said.
"The ultimate aim is to be up the front competing and to give yourself the chance to win.
"It's been good weather here [in Adelaide] and the weekend is looking like it should be pretty reasonable as well."
This is the 13th year the V8 Utes have competed at the Adelaide Parklands track.