Former Haltech V8 SuperUtes Series champion Ryal “The Kid” Harris is aiming for a sixth Utes racing title as he makes a full-time return to the category in 2023.
Harris will campaign the #58 EFS Super Butcher Toyota HiLux prepared by industry veteran Rod Dawson in Queensland; it is the SuperUte raced by Craig Woods to second outright in last year’s championship.
The Queenslander made a cameo appearance in the category on the streets of the Gold Coast in October 2022, winning three of four races and the overall round for Sieders Racing Team in a Super Butcher-backed Ford Ranger; the car to be driven by Gerard Maggs this year.
“Really excited to be back in the SuperUte,” said Harris. “With more cars on the grid, we’ll have even more fast guys up the front. I think we’re heading back to our glory dasa and I can’t wait to prove all the naysayers wrong with really exciting racing this year. I think the category is awesome, it’s a great stepping-stone for drivers out of Toyota 86 or those like me who are semi-professional, we have a great TV package and we’re on all the great rounds.
“The cars are awesome to drive, they’re refined each year, the tyre and brake package is great and parity is there, which is the most important thing. I’m very much putting my Super2 woes from last year in the rear-view mirror and looking forward to this season and another Ute championship!” concluded the championship favourite.
The most-successful Utes driver in Australia motorsport history, Harris has won five titles in total across three eras; three titles in the original V8 Utes Racing Series formula, the inaugural diesel-powered SuperUtes title in 2018, plus the 2021 title in the current V8 era.
Starting off in karts on the Gold Coast at the age of 11, Harris was a regular winner on the local circuit with 14 state and national karting titles by the age of 16. Harris made his debut in the V8 Utes Racing Series in 2004, claimed by back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 plus a third title in 2015.
Switching to SuperUtes in a Peters Motorsport Mazda BT-50 in 2018, he won his first title at the Newcastle finale, followed by wrapping up the 2021 championship at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. His last outing was at the Gold Coast street circuit last October where he claimed three out of four races wins and the overall round. 2022 also saw him compete in the Dunlop Super2 Series for Matt Stone Racing.
Ryal Harris will carry continued sponsorship from EFS 4X4 ACCESSORIES, SUPER BUTCHER, NGS CRYPTO, HAVENDEEN and BECK LAW, plus also a new partners in VOLO MODULAR and GKR TRANSPORT.
Ryal Harris is now in the top 20 for overall race wins in Australian motorsport history with 83 race wins, and will be looking to add to that tally this season.
EFS QUOTE: “We are in our seventh season of support with Ryal and are excited to continue the relationship this season. The SuperUtes we see as a good fit for our brands. With some more Utes on the grid in 2023, along with some more front runners, this year will be very exciting to watch.”
SUPER BUTCHER QUOTE: “We are extremely excited to again be partnering with Ryal Harris in his 2023 SuperUte championship season. As a local South East QLD employer ourselves, we are closely aligned with this local racing legend, and five-time Ute champion, proudly providing for thousands of families and hundreds of jobs in our local communities. We are looking forward to his successful campaign to a sixth championship this year.”