Ryal Harris takes pole for opening V8 Utes race
Ryal Harris has made his intentions clear by qualifying fastest for Race 1 of the Auto One V8 Utes Australia at Mount Panorama today.
The Gold Coast native will share the front row of the grid with the current championship point’s leader Nathan Pretty.
Harris, who is fielding new backing from watch brand Tendence and Roylance’s, was adamant that the key will be getting away to a good start in Race 1.
“The Holden’s get off the line a bit better so I’m going to have to get a cracker start. Pretty has a lot of experience here so I expect him to be fast,” he said.
“I’m planning to get into the first corner first then turn the rear view mirror around and not worry about what everybody else is doing.”
Row 2 will be made up of the Ford FG Utes of David Sieders and Kris Walton.
On the third row will be Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher and former NRL player and 2009 series champion Jack Elsgood.
Cameron McConville managed the ninth fastest time in his Bundaberg Racing entry, while juggling his commitments with the Holden Racing Team as James Courtney’s co-driver.
In 20th place in the bumper field of 34 is former Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst in the Auto One wildcard entry.
Longhurst has not raced since the Sandown round of the 2011 V8 Utes Australia and says he was taking his time getting back into the groove.
“I feel a bit rusty because I’ve actually been away on my sailing boat for the last six months,” he said.
“I love Bathurst, if this round of the V8 Utes was anywhere else then I wouldn’t have bothered getting back behind the wheel. It is very hard to describe how thrilling it is.
“Yesterday when I first went out onto the circuit I thought there was a mechanical problem with the car because it only went to 5700rpm. Then my crew told over the radio that that is the rev limit so I had to laugh at myself.”
The Auto One V8 Utes Australia will be on track tomorrow at 0950 AEST for Race 1 followed by Race 2 at 1505.