Local Holden driver RhysMcNally hit the podium for the second Round in a row, claiming third overall inRound Two of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL – atBarbagallo Raceway (Sunday May 5). Sydney Ford driver David Sieders securedhis first Round win at Barbagallo, and reigning champ Ryal Harris his first race win for the year.
McNally started on the frontrow alongside David Sieders, however both were pushed hard by Harris, who madea great move on lap two, taking both Sieders and McNally, which he held for theremainder of the race.
“Obviously the goal last year was to get on the podium every round and I wantto do the same this year, but unfortunately I had the penalty in Adelaide.Different mind-set this year, I was so relaxed in that race, just lookingaround at the crowd, I was pushing but so much more relaxed. I was happy tofinish second this round, I’m leading the championship now, we’ll go to Darwin,reset and we’ll try and win,” said Harris.
Sieders soon took McNally on lap three, before a Safety Car was called for Allan Letcher’sUte stopped at pit entry. The West Aussie had his Absolutely Environmental Holdenturned around and beached on the Turn 7 kerb. As Phonsy Mullan rolled pastunder safety car, Letcher’s body language left no doubt as to whom he thoughtwas the culprit.
Adelaide’s Gary Baxter was right on McNally’s tail on the restart, the Sage Automationdriver taking McNally at Turn One, then pressured Sieders, who managed to holdthe veteran out right down to the chequered flag.
“It’s great to finally be onthe podium for 2013, even better at my bogey track Perth. I always make a habitof trying to work on the bogey tracks more than the others. I can’t wait to getto Darwin, it’s a pet track of mine,” said Sieders.
McNally held onto fouth from other local Adam Marjoram in the Auto OneRacing Holden and veteran Tony Longhurst, who claimed the Masters Award. Marjoram drove well to come home in fifthoverall, Longhurst in sixth. Fourth was enough to give McNally’sStratco third for the round and the young-gun couldn’t be happier.
“It feels absolutely awesome. I couldn’t think of a better way to start theyear, I never dreamed I’d start the year so well. It’s good to show everyonewe’re serious and we’re here to win so couldn’t be happier. We had everyonefrom Stratco here, obviously a home town track so everyone here knows me. To doit at a home event with the new colour scheme, the car is running great, Terryand Pat have done an awesome effort so everything is working out so far,”McNally explained. The Stratco Team also walked away with the ARMOR ALL BestPresented Award.
Stephen White had a great race to drive from 12th to seventh,followed by Nathan Pretty, Kris Walton and Jesse Dixon.
Walton was squeezed out byJesse Dixon and Kim Jane to miss out on the 10th spot, the RentcoFord wisping smoke and struggling to maintain the pace. He also faced a post-raceofficials hearing after a clash mid race with Pretty. Dixon had a great drivein his Hayman Reese Holden to walk away with ninth ahead of Jane in 10th,although the Bob Jane T-Mart driver was penalised five spots in a post-racehearing, handing a top 10 finish to Perth’s Peter Major.
Harris now leads the ENZED Drivers Championship on 233 points, ahead of localRhys McNally on 226, David Sieders in equal third with Gary Baxter on 216points and Nathan Pretty in fifth on 209 points.
The V8 Utes will head toHidden Valley Raceway in Darwin for Round Three, 14-16 June. To recap on all ofthe action from Round Two tune in to the Seven Network next weekend (Check LocalGuides for telecast times).