Ryal “The Kid” Harris has taken out his second consecutive race win at Round 1 of the 2015 East Coast Bullbars Australian V8 Ute Racing Series at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Saturday, 28th February. He is now the most successful driver V8 Ute in history with 33 race wins, breaking Grant Johnson’s race win tally of 31.
Although he led from start to finish, Harris was pressured all race from reigning champion Kris Walton.
“We have a good ute, we showed that last year so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. The only thing that concerns me is that Kris and I will be going at it all year, we have to deal with it as we go along, I can’t let friendship get involved too much, I just have to treat him like everyone else on the track," explained Harris.
Walton held onto second in his Rentco Ford, but not before the two front-runners had to get around Bruce Oaklands, whom they were lapping on the final turns of the race.
“I’m not sure what he was thinking, he just didn’t’ get out of the way, he’s only new to the category and he almost took out the two leaders when we were lapping him, so you just have to be aware of that,” said Harris.
Adam Marjoram put in a personal best result, bringing the Auto One/ Erebus Motorsport Holden home in third, just biding his time behind Walton and Harris.
“We’ve learnt a lot from last year, all lessons learned have been put into good stead here. I just wish there’d been points for everything this weekend and we’d be laughing. I’m really happy, the Erebus guys have been working really hard on the car and it’s paying off,” said Marjoram.
Just Car Racing’s Craig Dontas was the first local driver over the line in fourth, holding out George Miedecke who pressured the Holden driver all the way to the chequered flag.
Stratco Racing’s, Rhys McNally had a spectacular race, driving from 19th to finish in sixth ahead of Miedecke, which also earned him the DBA Hard Braker Award and a $500 voucher.
Nathan Pretty had a rough race battling his way from ninth to finish his Burbank Homes Holden in seventh, ahead of Kim “The Assassin” Jane in eighth, Jeremy Gray in ninth with Rookie Adam Beechey posting a great result rounding out the top ten. He was hit with a five second penalty for kerb hoping along with Danny Buzadzic and Ryan Hansford.
The penalty resulted in Hansford dropping from 11th to 13th for the race, which he almost didn’t finish when he joined David Sieders in the wall after the two were battling for fourth place with Craig Dontas and George Miedecke. Hansford’s Multispares Ford only suffered wheel alignment issues and Sieders’ suffered a broken steering rack finishing in 20th overall.
“It’s done now, we’ll salvage what we can, obviously we’ve got the car fast and we’ve got good speed of the line, Stephen White gave me some tips on how to start the Holden and it worked, I jumped the guys in front of me so I know I’ve got it all so bring on the next race,” said Sieders.
Gerard McLeod’s bonnet flew up at turn 7 after contact with Slideways Go Karting driver Cam Wilson; unfortunate for Wilson, McLeod flew into the side of him at turn 8, ending their races. McLeod is under investigation for the incident.
McLeod and Wilson were both taken to the hospital, McLeod had glass washed out of his eye and is under observation and Wilson was cleared of a suspected broken foot. Wilson’s Ute is currently at local smash repairers who are working overtime to have it ready in time for him to race tomorrow.
“I’m really gutted, we were having such a great race and I can’t believe that we can truly have this much bad luck (Wilson was taken out by Jordan Skinner in Qualifying last year), I’m a little sore but the foot’s fine, the Ute took most of the brunt and I’m not sure if they’ll get it ready in time but we’ll just wait and see,” said Wilson.
Local Charlie “Handlebars” Kovacs’ race went from bad to worse; he stalled on the grid and ended his race in the wall at turn 13 on the second last lap after suffering steering issues.
Noel Edge retired mid-race due to a flat left rear tyre after contact with Bruce Oaklands, Edge will receive a $500 suspended 12 month sentence for reckless driving and Oaklands was penalised 60secondsfor reckless driving; including for speeding and doing a burnout in Pit Lane.
Rookie Mason Barbera tried to drive inside into turn 3 but ran into the gravel trap, breaking his steering on impact and forcing him out of the race.
The V8 Utes will be back on track tomorrow at 9am for the final race of the round, which will be televised LIVE on Fox Sports at 9am and delayed telecast on Network Ten at 1:30pm (local time).