Harris wins Auto One V8 Ute on count back

 while Jane takes the pain of a Hidden Valley Ute Rollover‏

Ryal “The Kid” Harris secured Round 4 victory in the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All after claiming Race 4 at Hidden Valley Raceway, Sunday, 17th June.

This is Harris’ fourth podium for the year and it has pushed him into second position in the ENZED drivers Championship, only 8 points behind Nathan Pretty.

The Gold Coaster wasn’t sure if his Rexel Ford FG would cross the finish line when he hit the grid for Race 4 but he’s happy with the result. Both Sieders and Harris finished on equal points for the round, Harris taking the win by finishing higher in the final race.

“We had a vibration at the end of race 3 and we thought we fixed the problem. The same vibration was back when we headed out to the grid for Race 4, so I wasn’t sure if the car would last but it obviously did.  I’m only 8 points behind Nathan now so I’m in a really good frame of mind,” said Harris 

The day began in spectacular fashion when the Bob Jane T-Mart Holden of Kim Jane hit the tyre bundle going into Turn 1 and rolled onto its roof during Race 3. Jane made it out of the car and was rushed to the medical centre as a precaution but was deemed OK.

 “It happened really quickly. I was trying to avoid Warren Millet, who had locked up in front of me. He’s a mate so I didn’t want to hit him and I clipped the tyre barrier. It was amazing how many things go through your mind. I tried to quickly turn off the power as I was worried about the ute catching on fire, so was doing as much as I could to prevent it,” said Jane.

Jane’s rollover caused the second safety car of the race. The first came when Bundaberg Racing’s Cameron McConville and Craig Dontas made contact at the first turn on the first lap. McConville retired for the race and was penalised 15 championship points for the incident.

Harris grabbed the lead ahead of David Sieders after the second restart, however Sieders caught Harris with a great outside run around Turn 1, the two toughing it out side by side for 4 corners, before Sieders went through under brakes in Turn 5.

There were six drivers battling for 6th position including Andrew fisher, Nathan Pretty, Ryan Hansford, New Zealand’s Andrew Waite, Kris Walton and Ben Dunn who finished 3rd to 8th respectively. Rhys McNally and Danny Buzadzic rounded out the top ten.

Walton was penalised 5 grid positions for Race 4, after making contact with Buzadzic on the final lap, and Ben Wilson was penalised with a 27 second penalty for overlapping on the restart. 

Sieders and Harris started Race 4 on the front row and the Queenslander got a screamer of a start, holding Sieders out for the whole race.

Although he had a slow start to the weekend, Sieders was happy with his result, which secured him second overall, ahead of teammate Andrew Fisher in third for the Round.

“After our Friday issues with both Sieder’s Racing ute’s, I grabbed pole and a race win, and Andrew a fifth and a third. To back it up again today with a Race win and a second, was a great comeback for the team,” said Sieders.

Fisher’s (Jesus Racing) podium finish has pushed him into third overall in the ENZED Championship ahead of Sieders in fourth.

Monster Energy’s Nathan Pretty still holds the Series lead after claiming fourth in Race 4. Rentco Racing’s Kris Walton chased hard until the Queenslander was called into Pit Lane for a mechanical blag flag with only 1 lap to go following power steering failure.

Chris Pither Scholarship recipient Andy Waite held his ground and came home in fifth.  Rhys McNally, Ben Dunn and Ryan Hansford finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. West Coast Body Works’ Danny Buzadzic held young-gun Jake McNally at bay and the two closed out the top ten.

The weekend was one of significant improvement for several drivers including; Danny Buzadzic, Jake McNally, Warren Millet, Hayley Swanson and Noel Edge, who drove his BF  for the last time with all Ford series drivers moving to the FG model from the next round at Bathurst.

Warren Millett claimed the Masters Award, finishing 15th overall, Gary Baxter won the Champion Spark Plugs Hole Shot award for his Race 3 start, Colin Bradley’s Bay Point Developments  Holden  won the Armor All Best Presented Award, and Sieder’s Racing claimed the Teams Award with all 3 utes finishing in the Top 7 overall round results.

The V8 Utes will have a three month break now before they head to Mount Panorama for Round 5 of the 2012 Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by Armor All but to recap on all of the action from Hidden Valley Raceway tune into Network Seven next Saturday, 23rd June at 12:30pm.

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