Local stars dominate Gold Coast V8 Ute Opener‏

Local lad, Ryal “The Pest” Harris, has taken out Race 1, which ended under Safety car at Round 7 of the Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath Café, at the Gold Coast 600, Saturday, 25th October.

Hayman Reese’s Jesse Dixon, coming off his first ARMOR ALL Pole win this morning, led the race for the first two laps until Harris took his chance snatching the lead a beautiful move after the two raced side-by-side into the hairpin at the top of the circuit.

“I was really happy to see Jesse at the front, I capitalised on the oil that was out there and made a big lunge on the outside and it paid off, apparently the move looked good on TV, so hopefully everyone was entertained,” said Harris.

Dixon still came home in second with mounting pressure from the fierce pack behind him. The Gold Coaster putting more points on the board and moving into third in the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship.

“I’m really happy with the result, I got a really good launch and Ryal was on our tail for most of the race. We were towing him along for a bit there, but we got caught out on the oil. I had some good close racing with Ryal and we gave each other just enough room to keep it off the wall, so congratulations to him and hopefully the reversed grid isn’t too big and we can fight for the Round win,” explained Dixon.

Kim “The Assassin” Jane was caught up early in the race under brakes at Turn 4, on the inside of Macmahon Mining’s Gerard McLeod, turning McLeod around and destroying his race. Jane was excluded from the race for the incident.

The 12 lap race was cut short after 7 laps following an incident at turn 2 when Benn Wilson clouted the tyre bundle, breaking the steering and spearing the Peters Motorsport Holden into the wall. The ute bounced back into the path of rookie Phil Woodbury causing heavy damage, while Wilson’s own brother Cam Wilson hit the wall trying to avoid both utes. Both Woodbury and Benn Wilson were taken to the Medical Centre but were deemed ok. Cam Wilson and Woodbury have withdrawn from the event.

“It was a fairly decent hit, Benn went into turn one and the steering broke on him and he bounced into the wall and bounced straight back at me, so the car was up on two wheels as I turned into the corner, then landed back on the wheels and straight into him. I’m feeling a bit sore and sorry at the moment, it was a short Gold Coast weekend,” said Woodbury.

David Sieders was catching Dixon before the safety car was called and came home in third, ahead of Ryan Hansford in fourth, Kris Walton in fifth, Wakeup Racing’s George Miedecke in sixth, Adam Marjoram in 7th, Stratco Racing’s Rhys McNally in 8th, Nathan Pretty in 9th and Andrew Fisher rounded out the top ten.

Craig Dontas had a great race in his Thirsty Camel Holden, missing qualifying this morning due to an electrical wiring issue, he started from the back of the grid and stormed through the field to finish in 13th.

Almost half the field were hit with post-race penalties for Kerb Hopping, including Elliot Barbour who received a 10 second penalty, all other drivers lost 5 seconds; Kim Jane, Andrew Nickolls, Danny Buzadzic, Noel Edge, Peter Burnitt, Wayne Wakefield, John Wood, Stephen Wilson, Leigh Nicolaou, Bruce Oaklands and Cam Wilson.

The V8 Utes will be back on the track early tomorrow for top 11 inverted Race 2 grid, which will see Jeremy Gray start on Pole alongside teammate Andrew Fisher. The race will be televised as live through 7Mate at 11:30am. Race 3 will kick off at 12pm tomorrow, with Kris Walton still in command of the overall ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship.