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Pither scores unlikely Dunlop Race 1 win

Gordon Lomas

Saturday 5th July, 2014 - 4:39pm

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Chris Pither took victory in Race 1 for the Dunlop Series

Chris Pither took victory in Race 1 for the Dunlop Series

Kiwi driver Chris Pither has claimed a surprise victory in the opening Dunlop Series race at the Castrol Townsville 500.

Pither was lying in third position for the bulk of the race before being elevated to victory in a dramatic turn of events in the closing seconds of the shortened 28-lap race.

Series leader Ash Walsh (Infants Friend Ford) led after storming to the lead from second on the grid and held the position until the final corner of the last lap.

Hot in pursuit Cameron Waters (FPR Ford) went for a dive on the side into the final left-hand corner before locking his brakes and clipping the left rear of Walsh, sending him into a spin.

Stewards immediately issued a 30s penalty to Waters, dropping him to 21st and promoting Pither to the win.

In the reshuffled finish Paul Dumbrell was second with Andre Heimgartner third.

Walsh was bitterly disappointed after seeing certain victory ripped from his grasp.

“He got a 30s penalty but it doesn’t give my points back,” said Walsh, who now holds a narrow series lead over Dumbrell.

“We’ll just have to regroup and get out there tomorrow and do the job.”

The race was shortened shortened by one lap after Andrew Jones pulled off onto the grass beside his grid box with a problem on the original grid.

The former main series driver was able to fire the car back up before retiring as the field formed up for a second time.

On lap 9 Steve Johnson pinched a tyre and speared off into the run off area before rejoining in ninth, losing three spots in the incident.

Walsh continued to lead as the Safety Car was deployed on lap 14 safety when Paul McKinnon (RSport Holden) spun before he was clipped by Aaron Tebb, removing the stricken rookie’s front splitter.

Morgan Haber attempted an inside pass on Paul Morris, Marcus Zukanovic and Ant Pedersen into Turn 11, causing a traffic jam and bringing out the the second Safety Car.

In the ensuing scrimmage, Morris was forced out of the race along with Haber.

The Dunlop Series will return to the track for qualifying at 9.25am tomorrow.

See below for full results

1

 Icebreak Racing

Chris Pither

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:32.8930

1:15.7455

2

 Eggleston Motorsport

Paul Dumbrell

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:34.8196

1:15.5728

3

 Finance Ezi/MW Motorsport

Andre Heimgartner

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:35.5232

1:15.7447

4

 Go Karts Go/North Side Fire

Aaren Russell

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:37.5548

1:15.7372

5

 Wilson Security Racing

Steven Johnson

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:38.5262

1:16.0541

6

 R&T Pumps/MW Motorsport

Dean Fiore

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:40.3660

1:15.6934

7

 R&J Batteries

Geoff Emery

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:40.7071

1:16.6889

8

 Thomas Steel Fabrication

Todd Hazelwood

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:40.7095

1:16.1034

9

 Eggleston Motorsport

Ant Pedersen

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:41.4238

1:15.8620

10

 Think Holden

Macauley Jones

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:43.3249

1:16.7620

11

 Forpark/Aust Custom Moulders

Matt Hansen

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:46.5545

1:17.3758

12

 Action Racing

Marcus Zukanovic

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:47.5820

1:16.2230

13

 Pacific Hoists/Halda Race Pilo

Fredrik Lestrup

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:48.4786

1:17.1925

14

 Formula Tech/Interquip Racing

Brett Stewart

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:49.0932

1:17.5258

15

 Eggleston Motorsport

Garry Jacobson

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:51.4155

1:15.6057

16

 Mocomm Communication

Jim Pollicina

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:51.8322

1:17.3436

17

 Gulf Western Oil

Michael Hector

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:52.3963

1:17.7399

18

 Infants Friend

Ashley Walsh

 Ford Falcon FG

 36:57.5357

1:15.4427

19

 Warrin Mining/Volvo Construction

Adam Wallis

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:58.6500

1:18.1449

20

 Wynn’s/Vili’s

Josh Kean

 Holden Commodore VE2

 37:00.8707

1:17.0940

21

 TEAM ENZED FPR

Cameron Waters

 Ford Falcon FG

 37:02.6813

1:15.4420*

22

 Image Racing

Jack Le Brocq

 Ford Falcon FG

 37:05.7331

1:16.3245

23

 McGill Motorsport

Aaron McGill

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:57.9990

1:17.9444

24

 Voight Contracting

Aaron Tebb

 Holden Commodore VE2

 36:52.9831

1:17.5342

DNF

 Worldwide Gaming

Tim Macrow

 Holden Commodore VE2

 32:53.4290

1:17.9195

DNF

 United Racing

Paul Morris

 Ford Falcon FG

 24:43.6083

1:16.4707

DNF

 Haber Xcavations/MW Motorsport

Morgan Haber

 Ford Falcon FG

 24:45.0785

1:15.8505

DNF

 Street Fighter

Dan Day

 Holden Commodore VE2

 24:49.8551

1:17.2900

DNF

 Rev Trans WA/Evolution Custom

Paul McKinnon

 Holden Commodore VE2

 14:41.7734

1:17.6296

DNF

 A.L.B. Distributors

Andrew Jones

 Holden Commodore VE2

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