Ryal Harris passed Tom Alexander at half distance and then held off the Kiwi to win ECB SuperUtes Race 1 at Queensland Raceway.
Alexander led the field away from Armor All Pole Position as Craig Woods got inside of Harris, who started on the outside of the front row, into Turn 1.
Harris, however, hung tough on the outside of the Western Sydney Motorsport Toyota Hilux all the way through to the back straight, outbraking Woods at Turn 3 and reclaiming second position.
Alexander got around 0.8s ahead before Harris pegged back the Ross Stone Racing Holden Colorado with back-to-back fastest laps.
He got down the inside of the race leader at Turn 6 and Lap 5, where they made light contact as Harris made room for himself, and ran side-by-side down the front and back straights.
Harris cleared Alexander by the time they braked for Turn 3 but couldn’t drop him in the four-and-a-half laps which remained, and was instead handed a bad sportsmanship flag for blocking on Lap 7.
As the laps ticked down, Harris again played defensive in his Peters Motorsport Mazda BT-50, prompting Alexander to try several outside moves.
The New Zealander couldn’t pull any off, however, and finished just 0.1689s adrift after 10 laps.
Woods closed on the top two as they battled midway through the piece but never really threatened and remained third until the chequered flag.
The Sieders Racing Team Mitsubishi Tritons of debutants Mick Sieders and Cameron Crick finished fourth and fifth.
Matt MacKelden (SRT Hilux) was sixth, from Aaron Cameron (Peters BT-50), Christopher Formosa (Ranger Racing Ford Ranger), Tomas Gasperak (Team 18 Colorado), and Steve Wilson (Steve Wilson Racing Isuzu D-Max).
Ben Walsh ran midfield early on but soon lost pace in his WSM Hilux and finished five seconds adrift of Wilson at the back of the 11-car field.
Harris has reclaimed the series lead from Woods ahead of Race 2 tomorrow at 0935 local time/AEST.
Results: Race 1
|1||58||EFS 4×4 Racing||Ryal Harris||Mazda BT50||10||15:21.7921|
|2||22||SP Tools||Tom Alexander||Holden Colorado||10||15:21.9610|
|3||64||Western Sydney Motorsport||Craig Woods||Toyota Hilux||10||15:25.2027|
|4||45||Team Mitsubishi Triton||Michael Sieders||Mitsubishi Triton||10||15:27.1478|
|5||87||Team Mitsubishi Triton||Cameron Crick||Mitsubishi Triton||10||15:27.5513|
|6||99||Kubota Tractors Australia||Matthew MacKelden||Toyota Hilux||10||15:32.5361|
|7||95||Bushranger Racing||Aaron Cameron||Mazda BT50||10||15:36.8566|
|8||49||Allgate||Christopher Formosa||Ford Ranger||10||15:44.4575|
|9||18||AC Delco Racing||Tomas Gasperak||Holden Colorado||10||15:45.0522|
|10||3||Wilson Auto||Steve Wilson||Isuzu D-MAX||10||15:56.7698|
|11||8||Car City||Ben Walsh||Toyota Hilux||10||16:01.8334|