– Press Release
Stephen “White dog” White raced to victory today (Sunday, 7th July) in Race 2 whilst Nathan “Nitrous” Pretty secured Race 3 and Round 4 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL at the Sucrogen Townsville 400.
White had a great start off the front row in Race 2, alongside Rookie Adam Marjoram, and continued his great pace throughout the race to bring his Dunlop Super Dealer Holden home first.
“It’s fantastic we’ve worked hard as a team to get good results in this category and the year didn’t start perfectly or well at all, and to come into Perth and have a top 6, Darwin a top 5 and now a race win, I think it’s a little bit of the monkey off the back for us.”
A safety car was called earlier in the session due to the HTA/ Isuzu Utes Ford of Grant Bromley stopped side on at Turn 6 after contact.
It was battle of the Rookies with Auto One Racer Adam Marjoram and Elliot Barbour fighting for second spot. Barbour and Marjoram made contact on the exit of turn one and Barbour slid backwards under brakes at 190 kph into turn 2 narrowly missing Marjoram.
The two continued the tussle for the remainder of the lap until the young West Aussie was called into Pit Lane for a drive-through penalty, finishing the race in 22nd overall.
“I got to the end of the straight in the braking zone and had a bit of a coming together. The drive through penalty ruined my race, we had a top 2 chance, oh well, you get that, its motorsport,” said Marjoram
Kris Walton and Gary Baxter moved through to second and third after the Rookie tussle and Nathan Pretty and Ryan Hansford soon moved in to take Barbour who finished in 6th overall for the Race, but not without pressure from Craig Dontas Ryal Harris, David Sieders, Kim Jane and Andrew Fisher who were all fighting for 7th, all changing positions in the final laps with Dontas claiming 7th, Harris 8th, Sieders 9th, Jane 10th and Fisher 11th.
Local Graham Edwards had a great run to finish 12th from his 17th starting position.
Jesse Dixon claimed the SS Inductions Hard Charger Award and $500 cash for passing 12 Ute’s to finish in 18th in the Race.
The final race 3 grid, based on points from the first 2 races saw Nathan Pretty on Pole alongside Kim Jane. Pretty got off to a screamer of a start, taking Jane under brakes into Turn 2. The Milwaukee backed Holden VE drove all the way home with little pressure to claim the Round win.
“Nice to bounce back after a couple of disappointing rounds, it’s the best way I know how grabbing pole, winning a race and the weekend its exactly what I need to do and it’s good to get the morale in the team up, after a few disappointing weekends its nice for them, I’m never going to just lay down that’s for sure, the best thing I can do is win races to get back into the championship certain things were out of my control and now we’re back on track,” said Pretty.
Jane finished 4th on the road after a race long duel with Gary Baxter and second overall for the round.
“I think we’re gelling with the team, we didn’t have a great start so I can’t complain at the moment. We’re happy with my podium win, it’s a great victory for Bob Jane T-Marts, Holiday Inn and Absolutely Environmental and I’m looking forward to my home-round,” said Jane.
After his earlier victory, Stephen White was unlucky not to secure a podium finish, missing out by only one point to ENZED Drivers Championship leader Ryal Harris who pushed through the field from 8th to secure third for the Race and the Round.
“I’m so happy to salvage third, Joey (Joe Devries, Harris’ Team Manager) did an awesome job. Obviously we had a clutch drama in Race 2 and we were lucky to make it out for the Race, Joey still had the car jacked up right before we were called out. I’m not worried about the lead (Series lead), we are going to give the car a big birthday before the next round and we’ll do what we need to, to stay on top,” said Harris.
Kris Walton bought his Rentco Ford home in fifth, with mounting pressure from Gerard McLeod who claimed one of his best race results in 6th ahead of teammate Craig Dontas in 7th. Dontas was lucky to finish in the top ten after he and David Sieders came together early in the Race with Sieders spinning out. Phonsy Mullan also made contact with the New South Welshman, having no-where to go pushing the two drivers to the back of the field. Sieders was later called into the Pits for a mechanical black flag from the incident to remove damaged body work.
Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher was taken out early in the race after contact with Rookie of the Year leader Elliot Barbour.
Rhys McNally had a better finish to his weekend and had a great drive from 15th to finish in 8th, keeping him in the Series hunt. Gary Baxter was in third position for most of the Race however suffered fuel surges and dropped back to 9th ahead of Benn Wilson who rounded out the top ten.
Ryan Hansford almost didn’t make it into the race, after clutch failure on the warm up lap. But managed to start from the rear of the grid and finished the race with no clutch.
In post-race scrutineering, Jeremy Gray, Adam Marjoram and Stephens White’s Ute’s were all deemed by race officials to not comply with the technical regulations for the series, and were excluded from Race 3.
Elliot Barbour gained some consolation, by winning the ARMOR ALL Best Presented Award, Gary Baxter the Masters Award, and Murphy Motorsport the team’s award.
The V8 Utes will be back on track for Round 5 at Sandown Raceway 13 – 15 September but to recap on all of the action from this weekend tune in to Network Seven next weekend, Saturday, 13th July at 12:30pm (be sure to check local guides).
See below top 10 results for Race 2
||19 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||Stephen White||Holden VE||1:28.4342|
|2|| 68 Rentco Transport Equipment Ren
||Kris Walton||Ford FG||1:28.5968|
|3|| 3 Sage Automation / Roof Seal
||Gary Baxter||Holden VE||1:28.5866|
|4||56 Milwaukee Racing
||Nathan Pretty||Holden VE||1:28.5581|
|5||6 Hawkins Transport – HT Racing
||Ryan Hansford||Ford FG||1:29.1061|
|6||6 7 CoolSport / Guide Dogs
||Elliot Barbour||Ford FG||1:28.4222*|
|7||7 22 Thirsty Camel Racing
||Craig Donta||Holden VE||1:29.2696|
|8||1 Tapout Energy Racing
||Ryal Harris||Ford FG||1:28.8177|
|9||8 Sieders Racing Team||David Sieders||Ford FG||1:28.8578|
|10||27 Bob Jane T-Marts||Kim Jane||Holden VE||1:28.6223|
Click hereto download full results from Race 2
See below top ten results from Race 3
||56 Milwaukee Racing||Nathan Pretty||Holden VE||1:28.6834*|
||19 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||Stephen White||Holden VE||1:28.9418|
||1 Tapout Energy Racing||Ryal Harris||Ford FG||1:28.8468|
||27 Bob Jane T-Marts||Kim Jane||Holden VE||1:29.0401|
||68 Rentco Transport Equipment Rentals||Kris Walton||Ford FG||1:29.0160|
||50 Macmahon Mining / Groeneveld||Gerard McLeod||Holden VE||1:29.2607|
||22 Thirsty Camel Racing||Craig Dontas||Holden VE||1:29.1230|
||26 STRATCO Racing||Rhys McNally||Holden VE||1::29.0377|
||3 Sage Automation / Roof Seal||Gary Baxter||Holden VE||1:28.7743|
||11 P.I. Technical/Fuchs/Hustler||Benn Wilson||Ford FG||1:29.5618|
Click here to download Race 3 results