Crick beats Price in SuperUtes qualifying

  • ECB SuperUtes Series
  • |
  • 24/05/2019
  • By Joshua Makhoul

Mitsubishi Team Triton driver Cameron Crick claimed a maiden ARMOR ALL Pole in the ECB SuperUtes Series at Winton Motor Raceway.

Crick set the early pace in ARMOR ALL Qualifying, putting in a 1:40.1477s, before lowering the benchmark again on his first run, a 1:39.8585s his best.

That was good enough for top spot in the 20-minute session, leading the way by 0.2438 seconds ahead of his Mitsubishi team-mate, Toby Price.

The Dakar Rally winner, who returns for his first event of 2019, joins Crick on the front row, the pair having been second and third-fastest in practice.

Crick's pole time is 3.2702s quicker than the 2018 qualifying benchmark at Winton, as SuperUtes introduces a new control tyre and wheel.

It was more than three tenths off Friday's fastest time, though, set in practice by Ryal Harris in his Mazda BT-50.

"The Sieders Racing boys did a really good job to get the setup in the window, with the new rim and tyre combination," Crick said.

"We’ve still got some improvements to find with the front end, but it’s a massive improvement on what we had previously, especially with the mid-corner speed we can carry.

"In qualifying, it was stable for the whole session so I think we’ll have a strong race package as well.

"To have Toby on the front row of the grid is an awesome result for the team, but it also shows the unbelievable talent he has.

"To have spent 12 months out of circuit racing and to be so fast straight away is a huge achievement."

Price contested the first two events of the 2018 SuperUtes season, but hasn't run since, his '19 program delayed by wrist injuries sustained pre-Dakar.

"I haven’t driven one of these since Winton last year, in fact I haven’t done any circuit racing at all, so I’m stoked," Price said.

"These Utes have come a long way since I last drove one, and to be three seconds faster is amazing.

"Tomorrow I’ll be looking to follow Cameron at the start, and maybe learn his lines!"

Harris qualified third, from Western Sydney Motorsport's Craig Woods.

"The new tyres are really good, but there will be more of a difference between new and old tyres," Harris said.

"I did my fastest time of the weekend in Practice 1 on four new tyres, so there’s much more of a new tyre gain than there was previously."

Series leader Tom Alexander was fifth best, having fired off a number of times at Turn 3 in the Caltex-backed Isuzu D-MAX.

"We’re struggling a bit for balance, and we haven’t quite worked out how to set the Ute up for the new tyres," Alexander said.

"We’ve always had a strong front end; the new tyre has given us even more front grip, but the rear is now less stable."

Ben Walsh took sixth, ahead of father-and-son debutants Gerard and Jaiden Maggs and Craig Thompson, another newcomer.

Christopher Formosa rounded out the top 10, from Keven Stoopman, Jeff Watters and Ben Falk.

The opening race of the weekend takes place at 8:45am Saturday, ahead of Race 2 on Saturday afternoon.

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