Pither and Harris star in V8 Ute Darwin Dust Up

Above: Stephen White having a great run in Race 2


2011 V8 Ute Champion and current V8 Supercar Development Series driver, Chris Pither, claimed the ARMOR ALL pole Award today and Race 1 at Darwin’s Hidden Valley. A reverse of the top 18 grid for Race 2, saw Reigning Champion Ryal Harris extend his Series lead, with a stellar drive from 16th to 1st during Round 3 of the Auto One V8 Ute Racing Series – protected by ARMOR ALL, Saturday, 15th June.

Pither’s Holden posted his fastest time in Qualifying, pipping David Sieders Ford by two thousandths of a second, and broke the Londonberry based drivers record in a time of 1:21.5078. The top 18 drivers in qualifying were separated by less than a second.

The Holden and Ford battle continued in Race 1, Pither started on the front row alongside Sieders, sporting number 7 this weekend in memory of Australian Super Truck Champion Rodney Crick who passed away recently. Although Sieders lost his lead to Pither mid-race, he set a new lap record in a time of 1:22.26.

Gold Coaster Harris stayed in a consistent 3rd for the entire race, ahead of Bob Jane T-Marts Kim Jane, who was feeling the pressure from Nathan Pretty, Rhys McNally and Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher who claimed 5th, 6th and 7th consecutively.

The battle was on for 8th position, with McLeod forced to relinquish the spot when he spun out mid race at Turn One. Kris Walton was the next to go when he received a tap from Auto One Racer Adam Marjoram, who was slapped with a 5 grid position penalty for the incident. Gary Baxter came home the victor in his Sage Automation Holden ahead of Rookie Elliot Barbour in ninth and Craig Dontas, who closed out the top ten in his Thirsty Camel Holden.

Glenn McNally and Gerard McLeod drew the front row for the top 18 reverse Grid Race 2. McLeod got off to a ripper of a start in his Macmahon Mining VE, leaving McNally on the line.

McLeod was in great form until a safety car was called after Jeremy Gray’s contact with Kris Walton sent him into the tyre bundle, then Peter Burnitt put his CETNAJ Ford into the sandtrap at turn 10.

Sydney’s Ben Dunn was all over McLeod and made contact with the rear of McLeod’s Holden, turning him around while Walton and Stephen White slipped through. “Whitedog” held out Walton, who went wide into Turn 1 on lap 8 after a massive lock up under brakes. Harris closed in on the Erebus Racing Holden on the second last lap after White got sideways under brakes to claim the race win and the SS Inductions Hard Charger Award ($500 cash) for passing the most amount of Utes, the reigning champ was ecstatic with the result.

“It was a dream run, obviously some of the other guys got caught up in front of me, but it’s about time I had a bit of luck and just tried to keep our nose clean. I had a bit of an incident with Whitey (Stephen White) when I tried to come through but I backed off and gave him room. He’s great, he’s a good hard racer and it’s the first time I’ve been in a battle with him so it’s good to see how he operates and I think he’ll be up the front as the year progresses. We’re really happy with the new format and the result, and I  will start on Pole tomorrow so if we can stay out of trouble, we’ll have a good weekend,” said Harris.

Whitedog still posted his best ever V8 Ute result and was over the moon.

“It feels fantastic, this category is so challenging and so difficult to get good results and be competitive at the front, so in only our third round to have top 3 finish is just great – it’s the same for everybody and we are just stoked,” said White.

“The Assassin” Jane had a great drive coming home in 3rd in front of teammates Kris Walton, and Ryan Hansford, Rhys McNally claimed 6th ahead of Sieders, Baxter, Pither and Rookie Marjoram who rounded out the top ten.

Harris will start on the Pole tomorrow for Race 3 at 8:30am followed by Race 4 at 12:20pm, which will be televised in a delayed telecast on Network Seven around 2:50pm (NT Time), be sure to check your local guides.

See below top 5 results from Qualifying

 1  25 Walkinshaw Performance/Insane Racing
Chris Pither Holden Commodore VE 1:21.5078r
 2  7 Seiders Racing Team David Seiders  Ford falcon FG 1:21.7077
 3  27 Bob Jane T-Marts  Kim Jane  Holden Commodore VE  1:21.8360
 4  1 Tapout Energy Racing  Ryal Harris  Ford Falcon FG  1:22.0475
 5  56 Milwaukee Racing Nathan Pretty Holden Commodore VE  1:22.1401

Click here
to download full results from Qualifying

See below top 5 results from Race 1

 1  25 Walkinshaw Performance/Insane
Chris Pither  Holden Commodore VE 1:22.3120r
 2  7 Seiders Racing Team David Seiders  Ford falcon FG 1:22.2610R
 3  1 Tapout Energy Racing  Ryal Harris  Ford Falcon FG  1:22.8280
 4 27 Bob Jane T-Marts  Kim Jane  Holden Commodore VE  1:22.8954
 5  56 Milwaukee Racing  Nathan Pretty  Holden Commodore VE  1:23.3452

See below top 5 results from Race 2

 1  1 Tapout Energy Racing  Ryal Harris Ford Falcon FG  1:24.7662
 2  19 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing  Stephen White  Holden Commodore VE  1:24.5495
 3  27 Bob Jane T-Marts  Kim Jane  Holden Commodore VE  1:25.2247
 4  68 Rentco Transport Equipment  Kris Walton  Ford Falcon FG  1:24.7532
 5  6 Hawkins Transport – HT Racing  Ryan Hansford
 Ford Falcon FG  1:25.956 



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