Rhys McNally has taken out his first ARMOR ALL Pole Award and $1000 cash in the Qualifying shootout against reigning V8 Ute Champion Kris Walton at Round 1 of the East Coast Bullbars Australian V8 Ute Racing Series at the Clipsal 500, Thursday, 26th February.
McNally was the top Holden to make it through to the final ten minute shootout and Walton the fastest Ford. The West Aussie put in a perfect lap, hitting the chequered flag in a time of 1:36.4210 and was ecstatic with the result, while Walton went into Turn 4 too deep, running wide and clouting the wall in the RENTCO Ford.
“It’s my first pole position and what better place to do it then at the first round, full credit to the team they have done a great job with the car and it’s great to repay them will a pole position. To be able to participate in something like tomorrow’s race is pretty awesome, the Series is going through a lot of changes at the moment so it’s great to be a part of it,” said McNally.
Walton put in a stellar performance in the first 20 minutes of the session, posting the fastest time in a 1:36.0626, but ended the shoot-out with a disappointing 1:45.2621. Walton will still start on the front-row tomorrow leading out the Fords and although upset with today’s result is looking forward to the Race 1 challenge.
“I pretty much screwed up at turn 4. I flat-spotted it earlier in the session and had to come back and change the tyre , and in the end of the day we had a cold tyre on the front of the car, it usually takes me about 3 laps to get the tyres warmed up, not enough time, not enough heat and I made a mistake. Tomorrow is going to be interesting, the new format’s hurt a couple of people Ryal came second and will start P4 but for me I put it in the wall and I can still start from the front row, but it’s a mixed bag and I’m looking forward to see how we go,” said Walton.
A 20minute session was run with all 28 V8 Ute drivers for the first session with Ryal Harris coming in second fastest overall, but unfortunately for the Gold Coaster, he was the second Ford over the line and had to sit out the shootout and will start from P2 tomorrow.
“It’s always a shame when you pit after putting in a good time and then I had to go back out and try and win the spot back in the last five minutes of the session, but Kris was just too fast. I’m still really happy with the result, It would have been fun to go out in the top - two shootout but that’s how it goes. For the first time on-track this year, it was a good performance, the car is fast and feels really good so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race,” said Harris.George Miedecke was the third Ford over the line and the fourth fastest overall ahead of Ryan Hansford. Adam Marjoram was the second fastest Holden and will start from the second row tomorrow alongside Harris.
Local lad, Craig Dontas came home in sixth ahead of David Sieders who missed out on his fifth Clipsal 500 Pole Award. Gerard McLeod put in a great result coming home in ninth ahead of Kim “The Assassin Jane” who rounded out the top ten.
The drivers will all hit the track for the first Race of the Season tomorrow with all Fords on one side lined up behind Kris Walton and all of the Holden’s lined up behind pole man Rhys McNally, in a fitting salute to the Ford/Holden Last Crusade.
See below remaining racing scheduleRacing Series:Friday, 27th February Race 1 2:20pmSaturday, 28th February Race 2 10:45amSunday, 1st March Race 3 9:00am
All races will be televised on Fox 5 and Fox Play as well as in a slightly delayed telecast on ten Race 1 tomorrow at 2:25pm local time (2:55pm AEDT),RACE 2 12:15pm LOCAL (12:45pm AEDT) and Race 3 Sunday at 1:30pm LOCAL (1400 AEDT).