SuperUtes complete first practice session

Daniel Herrero

Thursday 1st March, 2018 - 9:25am

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Ryal Harris pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Ryal Harris has set the pace in the inaugural practice session for the ECB SuperUtes Series at the Adelaide 500.

Harris spent virtually the whole of the first 15 minutes of the session in pit lane, having pitted before completing a lap with smoke coming from his Peters Motorsport Mazda BT-50.

When the three-time V8 Ute Racing Series winner re-joined the circuit, he reeled out consecutive fastest laps to sit atop the timesheets by the end of the 20-minute hit-out.

Harris, who was briefly a second faster than the field, stopped the clocks at 1:46.0642s after the chequered flag.

The fastest practice lap in the V8 Utes’ last round in Adelaide, in 2016, was a 1:36.6028s, and back in the category’s first ever session in 2001 was a 1:48.1728s.

Craig Woods snuck under the 1:47s mark in his Western Sydney Motorsport Toyota Hilux to bump Tom Alexander to third in his Ross Stone Racing Holden Colorado.

Alexander and Aaron Cameron, in the other Peters BT-50, had traded top spot prior to Harris’ ascension, and Cameron ended up fourth-fastest.

Rounding out the field were Ben Walsh (Western Sydney Hilux), 2016 Dakar winner Toby Price (Sieders Triton), Matt MacKelden (Sieders Hilux), Christopher Formosa (Ranger Ranger), and Craig Dontas (Sieders Triton).

Dontas spent most of the session in the pits with just two laps to his name.

MacKelden caused the only on-track incident of note when he spun harmlessly entering the main straight late in the session.

Tomas Gasperak did not appear in the Team 18 Holden Colorado, which the crew was still working on in the paddock area when the session started.

Qualifying takes place at 1515 local time/1545 AEDT.

Results: Practice

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 58 EFS 4×4 Racing Ryal Harris Mazda BT50 1:46.0642
2 64 Western Sydney Motorsport Craig Woods Toyota Hilux 1:46.9781 0:00.9139
3 22 SP Tools Tom Alexander Holden Colorado 1:47.3201 0:01.2559
4 95 Bushranger Racing Aaron Cameron Mazda BT50 1:47.4551 0:01.3909
5 8 Car City Ben Walsh Toyota Hilux 1:47.7887 0:01.7245
6 87 Team Mitsubishi Triton Toby Price Mitsubishi Triton 1:50.7285 0:04.6643
7 99 Kubota Tractors Australia Matthew MacKelden Toyota Hilux 1:52.0423 0:05.9781
8 49 Allgate Christopher Formosa Ford Ranger 1:53.6296 0:07.5654
9 50 Team Mitsubishi Triton Craig Dontas Mitsubishi Triton 1:57.9932 0:11.9290

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