Crick wins Winton opener, protagonists tangle

  • Haltech SuperUte Series
  • |
  • 25/05/2019
  • By Joshua Makhoul

Cameron Crick claimed his maiden ECB SuperUtes Series victory at Winton, as title contenders Ryal Harris and Tom Alexander recovered from an early tangle with Toby Price.

Polesitter Crick controlled proceedings in his factory-backed Mitsubishi Triton, leading Race 1 of the weekend from start to finish.

He ultimately finished the nine laps 7.2046 seconds ahead of Toyota Hilux driver Ben Walsh.

Victory for 28-year-old Crick comes early in his first full-time SuperUtes campaign, after contesting three events with Team Triton in 2018.

"I made a pretty good start, but I was conservative early on because the track was still quite damp, and I didn’t want to hit any puddles and spear off," Crick said.

"As it dried out, the Ute got better and better and I was able to pull away from Ben.

"It’s my first-ever race win in car racing – I’ve come close with some seconds and thirds – so I’m absolutely stoked to finally get a first-place finish."

Crick shared the front row with Mitsubishi team-mate Price, but the Dakar Rally winner was in the wars early.

A first-lap battle between Price, Harris and Alexander ultimately spilled over exiting the final corner.

Price tagged the rear of Alexander's Isuzu, which turned both drivers around and obstructed Harris, as he navigated the wrong-way-facing Triton.

That dropped Harris to ninth, Price to 10th and Alexander to 11th, the trio battling back and eventually finishing third, fourth and sixth respectively.

"The incident was unfortunate," Alexander said.

"I got a run down the inside of Ryal and Toby out of the last corner and thought I was clear.

"Next thing, I got a massive smack in the rear and found myself looking at the fence."

Harris said: "I went down the inside of Toby at Turn 10 and I don’t think he saw me, because he just turned in and cut me off.

"I had to slow down to avoid the accident with Toby and Tom, so it was good to get back to third after that."

Price was handed a 15-second penalty, dropping him to seventh and promoting Alexander to fifth.

"There were a few heroes who were trying to win the race on the first lap," Price said.

"There was one driver who started a chain reaction of incidents so I don’t really know how I can get a 15-second penalty when the chaos started a lot earlier, with another driver.

"There are some guys out there who need to realise it’s a 10-lap race and use their brains a bit more."

Between Harris and Alexander, debutant Toyota driver Gerard Maggs finished fourth in his SuperUtes debut.

Craig Thompson, Price, Jaiden Maggs, Keven Stoopman and Christopher Formosa rounded out the top 10.

Craig Woods was set to start third, but his Toyota stopped on its way to the grid.

Race 2 will commence at 2:10pm local time, followed by the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday morning.

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