Pole position was just what Nathan “The Outlaw” Pretty needed to take victory in Race 2 (top 10 inversion grid race) of Round 4 of the Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath Café, at the Castrol Townsville 500 Saturday, 5th July.
Pretty narrowly just won the battle to turn 1 from Marjoram who was later penalised 5 seconds for a jumping the start jumped start, the GoPro driver held onto the lead despite even through two separate safety car periods.
“It was pretty hectic out there, so we had plenty of time to cool down that’s for sure but I just wanted to get on with the job and get a bit of a gap and never really had the chance with the two safety car cautions, we’ve certainly made in-roads to where we were at the start of the weekend in 24th, so a race win, I’ll take it any way I can,” said Pretty.
The first Safety car incident was flagged when the General Carrying Racing Holden of Matt Nolan made contact with Gerard McLeod’s Macmahon Mining Ute at turn 6 on the first lap. McLeod was forced to retire the #50 MacUte with right front corner damage in his second consecutive DNF.
The racing only resumed for one more lap before another safety car was called when a “freight-train” incident occurred at Turn 2.
South Aussie Craig Dontas made contact with the Multispares FG of Ryan Hansford who then made contact with David Sieders’ Ford.
Sieders was unable to turn and subsequently touched up Wayne Wakefield’s Showbar Ford.
Fortunately all four drivers walked away fairly unscathed however ISEEK / Wakeup Racing’s George Miedecke and Hayman Reese’s Jesse Dixon weren’t so lucky and both ended up pushed into the wall trying to avoid the incident.
“Race 2 can sometimes be pretty full on, my goal was to just finish the race and stay out of trouble, I yielded off a few spots early in the race and tried to stay out of trouble but unfortunately there was a bit of a mishap in front of us and we were the casualty from it, the guys at Hayman Reese Racing have been doing a great job on the car, we’ve got great car speed and we’ll come back fighting stronger than ever tomorrow,” said Dixon.The restart gave the race a two-lap dash to the finish, which almost went under safety car for the third time when Jeremy Gray made contact with Tim “The Toolman” Blanchard, which unfortunately ended the former V8 Supercar drivers race with damage to the CPS Products Holden.
Elliot Barbour, Rhys McNally, Kris Walton, Kim Jane, Craig Dontas and Ryan Hansford managed to hold on to the top 7 spots.
Ryal Harris (All Purpose Pest Control) went in aggressively on Adam Marjoram (Auto One) who was running in 8th at the time locking onto his Ute and forcing his Big Gun Racing FG into the air and pushing Marjoram wide.
The hapless West Australian , Marjoram dropped back to 15th overall, whilst Harris moved into the 8th spot.
“We had a fast car and I made some aggressive moves and went around the outside of Adam Marjoram, he was blocking on the last lap, which he was entitled to do, he doesn’t seem to want to give anyone any room, I got hooked up on his car, I tried to back off and get through the corner side-by-side and he came across and I got hooked up on his wheel, I have nothing to lose now for the rest of the year so I’m just going to keep driving how I am and probably come out even more aggressive tomorrow,” said Harris.
Two-time series champion and Cranes Trucks R Us driver, Grant Johnson hung up the helmet early in the race after contact at Turn 7 on the first lap resulting in a smashed wheel.
David Sieders and Battery World Racer ‘Spud’ Wood rounded out the top ten in an effort that was Wood’s best result in his career so far.
All results are pending post-race judicial hearings of which there were at least 7.
The V8 Utes will be back on track tomorrow at 10:15am for the final Race, which will see Kris Walton on Pole alongside Rhys McNally. The race will be televised on 7Mate later in the day at 12:30pm AEST (check local guides).