Ryal Harris has triumphed in a phenomenal opening race for Round 3 of the Haltech V8 SuperUte Series at Sydney Motorsport Park this afternoon, a race that many will argue rivals the previous round’s thriller for the best race in the series’ history.
In practice it was Aaron Borg who set the pace by a quarter of a second over Sieders Racing Team stablemate, Cameron Crick, with David Sieders a further four tenths back. Chris Formosa had his session cut short by a clutch and gearbox issue, which also sidelined him for qualifying with a tight turnaround between the sessions. Ellexandra Best found the limits in her first official practice session, with a spin and a spectacular moment into a trackside puddle on her way to 10th.
Borg again paced the field when qualifying came around, edging out Harris by six tenths of a second with a time of 1.45.3758 to earn pole position. Crick won out in a close battle for third over Sieders with Craig Woods rounding out the top five just two hundredths ahead of Western Sydney Motorsport teammate Matt McLean. 50 percent of the field set their fastest lap on the first lap of their session with the tyres only at their peak performance within a small window.
Race one was hotly contested as Borg and Harris diced over the race lead for the first seven laps before contact sent Borg wide and Harris to the front. The racing was just as wild behind them with Crick, Sieders and McLean all battling for the final podium spot and inviting Woods into the battle.
Borg put in the fastest lap of the race on the final lap in a bid to catch Harris, ultimately falling short by 0.15 seconds. Also of note was Sieders creeping forward at the start but managing to snag reverse and bring himself to a stop behind his grid box again before the red lights went out. Third place went the way of Matt McLean with Gerard Maggs earning himself reverse grid pole for tomorrow’s race two by virtue of his sixth place finish, after Crick was tapped into a spin by Woods.
“Qualifying went pretty well for us, we didn’t quite have the pace of Borgy (Aaron Borg),” said Harris.
“The headwind was strong, so I knew I had to get him off the line and then just defend really hard. I’d love to say I led from start to finish but he got by and then I had to get aggressive and muscle my way back through. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, three races up for us so it should be busy.”
“What a race,” said Gerard Maggs.
“We qualified eighth behind Jaiden (Maggs) in seventh but then I had a pretty bad start. There was some misfortune for others in front of us and I was able to keep my nose clean and we held our own. That put us sixth and Jaiden fifth so it will be a battle of the Maggs’ on the front row tomorrow. It’s going to be awesome, I can’t wait.”
Sunday will see three races for the Haltech V8 SuperUte Series with the reverse grid race kicking off the on-track proceedings for the BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint.
Race 1 Results:
Ryal Harris – P1
Aaron Borg – P2
Matt McLean – P3
Craig Woods – P4
Jaiden Maggs – P5
Gerard Maggs – P6
Chris Formosa – P7
Cameron Crick – P8
David Sieders – P9
Ellexandra Best – P10
Craig Jenner – P11
Michael Formosa – P12