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Harris Strikes First Blow in V8 SuperUte Series Title Decider

Ryal Harris has secured a vital pole position in the opening day of action for the Haltech V8 SuperUte Series at Mount Panorama.

The sole practice session for the round was contested early morning with the category hitting the track at 8:40am for a 20 minute hit-out. The race lap record for the old style Ute series was eclipsed by over half a second by pace setter Harris in the EFS 4×4 Accessories Peters Motorsport Mazda BT-50. The top three places were filled out by the main Championship contenders with Aaron Borg’s John Cootes Toyota Hilux in second and Cameron Crick’s RYCO 24/7 Mitsubishi Triton in third.

Qualifying saw two cars running under the old lap record, with Harris and Borg separated by just 0.07 in what could prove to be a Championship defining fight for pole. As has been the case in the majority of SuperUte qualifying session’s this year, the first lap proved to be decisive as the front runners could not improve their times on subsequent attempts. Harris claimed pole position, ahead of Borg and fellow title rival Crick in third just as it was in practice. David Sieders in the second RYCO 24/7 entry was a close fourth as well, throwing his hat in the ring to potentially be a spoiler in the on track Championship fight.

Harris felt the pole position came off the back of what could have been a Sydney Motorsport Park clean sweep after a mystery issue hampered him across the weekend.

“The issues we had at Eastern Creek, we ended up discovering it was a fuel pump,” Harris said.

“I’m pretty confident we could have had a clean sweep there and then come here in the lead, instead we are behind, and we have to do everything we can which is pole and four races. We will race him as hard as we can and hopefully, he trips up at some point and we win all of them.”

Borg was content with second in the session, pointing towards being the first car out on track as a potential reason.

“That’s not too bad, we had to push the air down the straights, so it wasn’t a bad lap,” Borg said.

“We might be able to find a little bit in sector three and we’ve got a good race car. The slipstream should have a bit of an effect on the racing, it’ll keep everyone close together. It could just be a case of who gets into the lead across the top and if they can break the tow before Conrod.”

Crick was six tenths away in third and suggested that a mistake may have cost him a chance at pole. There was also a substantial amount of oil laid down on the track earlier in the day, which had affected most session’s up to that point.

“I made a mistake across the top and we only really get one lap on this tyre, so I had to press on with it and finish the lap, it is what it is,” said Crick.

“The track wasn’t as bad as I thought, I probably caught myself out a bit with the mistake where I thought it would be bad but it wasn’t, so the track was pretty good.”

Race one of the Haltech V8 SuperUte Series will take place on Wednesday, with the finishing order determining race two’s starting grid by virtue of a reverse top six.

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