Harris completes successful Utes title defence
Gold Coast driver Ryal Harris successfully defended his V8 Utes title with a conservative run to seventh in the final race of the season at Sydney Olympic Park.
The reigning champion only needed to finish the race to claim the title from sole rival Nathan Pretty.
With that in mind, the 28-year-old ensured he avoided any potential danger to come home in seventh and record his second consecutive V8 Utes title.
David Sieders produced a convincing drive to take the final victory of 2013 from Kris Walton, who won the round, with Pretty in third.
“We knew what we had to do today, I was much more relaxed than this time last year so the feeling is very different, and it probably hasn’t sunk in yet”, said Harris.
Sieders made a blistering start from the front row to lead the field into the first turn by a comfortable margin.
Walton slotted into second spot with Pretty in third with Harris finishing the opening lap unscathed in eight position. It wasn’t long before the leader escaped into a comfortable two second lead.
The action was fairly tame behind although Michael Almond almost brought out the safety car on lap six when he collided with the tyre wall. He managed to recover to the pit lane where he retired from the race.
Despite the best efforts of Walton and Pretty, they were unable to haul in Sieders as he took the chequered flag for the final time this year.
More importantly Harris crossed the line in seventh to successfully complete his V8 Utes title defence.
Elliot Barbour won the Yokohama Rookie of the Year Award, scoring an evaluation drive with Erebus Motorsport.
The 22-year-old will drive Erebus’ Bathurst 12 Hour winning Mercedes SLS GT3 machine or the teams E63 AMG V8 Supercar.
“It was our goal to win the Rookie of the Year, and it is a great feeling to have now claimed it,” Barbour said.
The chance for an Erebus Test is a real bonus, and I can’t wait.”