2019 SUPERUTE ROUND 4: D-MAX FIGHTS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP IN TOWNSVILLE
08 July 2019
The #22 Caltex Delo® Racing Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte completes Round 4 of the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Championship in Townsville in 4th position—with Ross Stone Racing’s Tom Alexander maximising his points across each race—in a bid to maintain his Championship margin (+56 points) ahead of 2018-Champion, Ryal Harris.
The 2.86Km Townsville 400 street circuit was subject to torrential tropical rainfall across the race weekend; with the adverse weather changing the complexion of the street surface into challenging conditions for the grid of turbo-diesel dual cab utes.
“With all things considered we were able to salvage a good result, particularly after the challenging conditions in Qualifying,” said Ross Stone. “We would’ve loved to have been on the podium with the others, but more importantly our focus was to maximise our points and protect our lead in the Championship.”
With the threat of rain looming overhead in Qualifying, the field was awash with SuperUtes getting in early to lay their best lap before the impending downfall. Setting the benchmark early, Toby Price laid the gauntlet down on lap 2 with a 1:33.066, with Cameron Crick in the sister Triton following suit on his 5th pass with a 1:32.805 for pole. Tom Alexander’s attempt for pole was alit with a purple first sector and personal-best in the second, before his charge was halted by on-track traffic. Tom’s best came from lap 5—settling for P4 with a respectable 1:33.369—before the imminent rainfall prematurely slowed the session’s proceedings.
Starting Race 1 in P4, Tom Alexander was immediately challenged at the start by a charging Ben Walsh, forcing the D-MAX driver switch his drive to defensive—to protect position. Dispatching the threat from behind, Tom switched tactics back to offensive to hunt down Ryan Harris in P3—catching him towards the end of the race. But without a safe opportunity to pass, Tom finished Race 1 in P4 just off the rear bumper of Ryal in P3, accepting the 58 points for his efforts.
Race 2 saw Tom start mid-field in P5, as per the reverse grid format of the category. Tom capitalised on the pace of his D-MAX—overtaking Craig Thompson’s Hilux and Chris Formosa’s Ranger by the end of lap one. Driving conservatively with aim of finishing with a straight ute and maximum points, Tom parried with Ben Walsh’s Hilux for P2—attempting to pass the long way round in lap two, three and four before switching it up and diving down the inside under brakes on lap five, to secure P2. From there, Tom chased down the lead ute of Ryal Harris—laying down the fastest lap of the race in the process—catching him by the chequered flag to finish in P2.
Starting in P4 in Race 3, Tom was squeezed out early into turn one—before getting crossed up under locked-up brakes after lightly tapping the back of Ryal Harris (P3) into turn one—forcing him to fall into line in P7. With the front end of the D-MAX looking worse for wear from the turn one incident, Tom successfully made moves on the mid-field to climb back into P4—where he stayed until the end of Race 3.
Tom Alexander leads the 2019 ECB SuperUte Championship in the #22 Caltex Delo® Racing Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte, with 592 points, ahead of 2018-Champion, Ryal Harris (536).
The Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte will return to the track for Round 5 of the 2019 ECB SuperUte Championship, the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway, 26–28 July 2019.
Watpac Townsville 400 Results
Practice 1 – N/A
Practice 2 – 4th
Qualifying – 4th
Race 1 – 4th
Race 2 – 2nd
Race 3 – 4th
Championship Points after Round 4 Watpac Townsville 400
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