IT was a weekend of highs for Spano Gutierrez, whose maiden race meetings aboard his new AMCA National at Darwin's Northline Speedway resulted in a pair of pleasing victories, the latter of which saw him clinch the third Darwin Title of his career.
After purchasing his 350 Chev-powered NT # 46 Endless Engraving @ the Blue Shed-supported Panther, complete with a quick change differential setup, from one of Victoria's leading AMCA National drivers Jamie Collins late last season, Gutierrez was looking forward to hitting the track for the first time in the machine.
Planning to dial the car in during Saturday night's club show prior to the Darwin Title on Sunday, he couldn't have asked for a better run, achieving a clean sweep in his three heat races to start the 15-lap feature from pole position, before going on to lead from start to finish.
In high spirits heading into the Darwin Title, the Muswellbrook-based racer was hoping for a repeat of the previous evening's results and he almost accomplished it, falling just short by picking up a pair of wins and a second place finish in his third.
Once again starting out of pole position for the 20-lap Darwin Title-deciding feature race, the track which had been hooky the night before had become quite slick, challenging Gutierrez, who was forced to adapt to the change.
Not missing a beat, he was a model of consistency throughout, going flag-to-flag to claim another convincing victory.
"I consider Northline Speedway to be my home track and to experience so much success throughout the weekend, particularly in being able to defend the Darwin Title, is a real achievement," Gutierrez said.
"It was definitely a learning experience piloting the new Panther and 350 Chev package for the first time.
'But, the car was spot on during the entire weekend.
"It's always great coming up to Darwin and catching up with friends.
"I'm looking forward to the next couple of months."
Gutierrez will now base his car in Darwin throughout June and July, contesting a number of race meetings throughout the Northern Territory, including a club show at Northline Speedway on June 29.
Returning to participate in the Top End Challenge and Darwin Cup, which will be fought out over two weekends on July 19 (at Northline Speedway) and July 26 (Katherine Speedway), he'll attempt to go back-to-back in these events after emerging victorious last season, remaining in the NT for a week-long holiday in between.
The final mission on Gutierrez's NT calendar will be the NT Title at Northline Speedway on July 27.
It's another event he will be hoping to defend after being crowned NT Champion last season.
Gutierrez would like to thank his 2019 season sponsor Endless Engraving @ the Blue Shed, as well as fiancée Lisa Williams, crew chief Col Goodhew, Vicki Taylor and Todd Keaton from Endless Engraving @ The Blue Shed, Justin Scott from Scotty's Fabrication and Paint, and Ken Andrews.