Harris wins Adelaide Race 3 and season opener

  • ECB SuperUtes Series
  • |
  • 03/03/2019
  • By Joshua Makhoul

Ryal Harris has taken out Adelaide's opening round of the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Series, shading Tom Alexander in the third and final race of the weekend.

After taking a 10th and a win in the first two races of the season, Harris completed the weekend with a second victory in the double-points race, to secure the round honours.

The EFS 4x4 Mazda driver passed Alexander's Isuzu on the opening lap and won the eight-lap race by 0.9150 seconds.

"The Ute was on rails today - I got to the lead early and then managed the gap to the cars behind," Harris said.

"Tom was quick at the end though, and gave me a bit of a run for it on the last lap.

"Overall, a fantastic way to start the year. The handling was probably the best thing, I just had so much confidence to push to the limits this weekend."

Off the rolling start, Alexander's Caltex Delo Isuzu emerged from the first chicane complex ahead of Harris.

Alexander led for the bulk of the opening lap, until Harris made his move at Turn 14, the Isuzu running wide in the process and dropping to third.

From there, Alexander had to battle the factory-backed Mitsubishi of Elliot Barbour, getting by the Team Triton driver at Turn 9 during the fourth lap.

Despite a late effort from Alexander, Harris was able to hold onto the lead while the Ross Stone Racing driver – who spent 2018 in a Holden – had to settle for second for the round.

"Ryal got down the inside into the last corner, and I was a bit greedy on the throttle and slid at the exit, which allowed Elliot to get through as well," Alexander explained.

"We were still struggling with a bit of drive out of the slower corners but we were really fast through the first sector.

"I caught Ryal on the last lap and had a look at Turn 9, but wasn’t quite close enough."

Barbour was third for the race and round in the Mitsubishi Triton, ahead of Western Sydney Motorsport drivers Ben Walsh and Micheal Sieders.

"The Triton was a brand-new build for us this year, and we didn’t have time to test it before the weekend; there’s still a lot of development for us to do," Barbour said.

"We didn’t quite have the pace to race for the win, so I’m very happy to finish third and bank some good points."

Walsh started from the rear of the grid and was able to pick his way through to fourth, including passing team-mate Siders at Turn 9 late.

After rolling in Saturday's second race, Craig Woods was back on track and finished sixth, from Luke Vanna, Cameron Crick and debutant Adam Dodds.

Craig Dontas was the only non-finisher after returning to the pits in his Triton, while Dean Canto, Ben Falk and Christopher Formosa were all non-starters based on incidents earlier in the weekend.

Round 2 of the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Series will take place on May 2-4, as part of the PIRTEK Perth SuperNight.

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