Harris wins Townsville SuperUtes Race 2

  • Haltech SuperUte Series
  • |
  • 08/07/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Mazda driver Ryal Harris has taken out Race 2 of Round 3 of the ECB SuperUtes Series at the Watpac Townsville 400.

Harris led from start to finish in his EFS 4x4 Racing BT50, his fourth victory of the year.

Elliot Barbour, standing in for Toby Price at Team Triton, and Ben Walsh rounded out the podium, while Race 1 winner Craig Dontas failed to finish.

With the whole field reversed from Race 1, Harris and Barbour started first and third based on Saturday troubles.

They made the most of that to slot into first and second on the opening lap.

Harris cleared away at the front, but Barbour overshot Turn 2 on lap two, and relinquished second to Toyota driver Walsh.

Barbour got back past on lap four of the 13, by which time Harris led by four seconds.

That had been halved by the time the Safety Car was summoned on lap nine, when Christopher Formosa crashed his Ford Ranger at Turn 6.

Racing resumed with three laps to go and Harris edged away again, taking the chequered flag 1.6995 seconds clear.

“It was a very smooth race – after the dramas yesterday, I had clear track at the start so I knew I just needed to put my head down and extend the gap,” Harris said.

“The first race yesterday really cost us, and we’ll have to push through the field in Race 3.”

Walsh rounded out the podium, ahead of Hilux stablemate and series points leader Craig Woods, and Holden pair Tomas Gasperak and Tom Alexander.

“We’re definitely heading in the right direction – since qualifying, we’ve found a chunk of time,” Walsh said.

“We had a really good restart after the Safety Car, I set up to pass Aaron (Cameron) just after the start-finish line and was able to pull it off.

“From where we were yesterday, we’ve totally turned the weekend around – our Hilux is in a different league now.”

Dontas started at the rear of the field and made his way through to fourth in his factory-backed Mitsubishi Triton by the Safety Car period.

However he slowed through Turn 2 at the restart with a broken rear axle and failed to finish.

“The race was going well until our rear axle broke at Turn 2 after the restart,” Dontas said.

“I knew how important it was to finish, and we still scored enough points to get pole for Race 3 [on combined Race 1 and 2 results], which is the good news.”

Aaron Cameron was also just behind the podium pack, but his Mazda stopped at Turn 2 on the final lap, when its engine shut down.

The third and final race of the weekend starts at 1:20pm.


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