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May 16, 2014 - 04:11 PM
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Reigning Champ Rips Up barbagallo to Take V8 Ute Pole Award
Posted by: newsla on May 16, 2014 - 04:06 PM
Sports Cars
Reigning Champ Rips Up barbagallo to Take V8 Ute Pole Award


Queensland driver Ryal Harris served notice that he’s back to front running form, taking the ARMOR ALL Pole Award in qualifying for Round 2 of the 2014 Australian V8 Ute Series – protected by Hawkei at Barbagallo Raceway, north of Perth today (Friday May 17).

 

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Harris debuted a brand new Ute, built by Big Gun Racing since the Clipsal 500, and set a time in the All Purpose Pest Control Ford FG just 2/10ths faster than Kris Walton, who dominated both practice sessions.

“We haven’t had the fastest Ute for some time now, so we re-shelled and fitted a fresh engine for this round. I didn’t get a pole at all last year, so the new Ute is quick, now it’s just a matter of looking after the tyres as much as we can,” Harris explained.

“We were on the back foot after Round 1, and well down in the points for the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship, so this will help in closing the points gap to series leader David Sieders. My strategy was to follow Kris Walton for the session, knowing he was right on the money, and just pick up some time under brakes where I could, and it paid off.”

Walton is also on a high, with backer RENTCO celebrating 20 years, the Perth based Company is looking for a good home town result in front of over 200 guests expected over the weekend.

“We were quick in practice, and to start from the front row for tomorrow’s race will be great for all the team, especially the Perth guys.” Walton said.

“I’ve had plenty of track time recently, winning the recent round of the NZ V8 Ute Series at Pukekohe, so I really have no excuses not to be on the pace.”

Andrew Fisher was also strong in the Jesus Ford, qualifying 3rd fastest, just 4/10ths off pole. The Sydney driver was the best of the Sieders team, with series leader David Sieders back in 5th, just behind Ryan Hansford in the Multispares Ford.

Just on a second rounded out the top 10, George Miedecke was best of the Holden’s in 6th spot, from Kim Jane, Nathan Pretty and Elliot Barbour, whilst Jeremy Gray was the final Ford over the line.

The Formula 1 style 3 tiered qualifying session claimed Queensland’s Wayne Wakefield early, with the Bacardi Oakheart Ford failing to complete a lap when a bush was found to be missing from the front lower control arm.

“The Ute wasn’t handling right all through practice, so we made some changes before qualifying, however clearly the team missed something, and unfortunately we couldn’t fix it in time to get in a quick lap,” Wakefield said.

Series frontrunner Craig Dontas missed the cut for the Top 10 shootout finishing 13th, just behind Auto One driver Adam Marjoram and Sydney’s Ben Dunn. Local Perth star Rhys McNally in the Stratco Holden also struggled for pace, and will make set up changes prior to Race 1.

New Zealand driver Sam Barry, racing in Australia for the first time, had tyre failure in qualifying and will start from position 23, while series newcomer Andrew Nickolls made the qualifying cut and will start from the back of the field after purchasing Gary Baxter’s Holden only yesterday.

Local driver’s Clint Harvey, Travis Sharpe and Rick Gill qualified 15th, 21st and 23rd respectively.
Race 1, over 14 laps, will be held at 9:40 tomorrow morning and televised as live on 7Mate. (Check local guides.)

David Sieders is still leading the ARMOR ALL Drivers Championship on 159 points, whilst Walton has moved into second on 142 points and George Miedecke into third on 135 points.


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