10th to 1st -- ZUKANOVIC CLEANS UP IN SECOND AGP V8 UTE RACE MELBOURNE -- Ford Falcon XR8 driver Marcus Zukanovic bolted from 10th grid position to first on the track in less than four laps to win the second Cleanevent V8 Utes race at the...
10th to 1st -- ZUKANOVIC CLEANS UP IN SECOND AGP V8 UTE RACE
MELBOURNE -- Ford Falcon XR8 driver Marcus Zukanovic bolted from 10th grid position to first on the track in less than four laps to win the second Cleanevent V8 Utes race at the Fosters Australian Grand Prix meeting today.
Making up for a disappointment in race one yesterday, when a visit to the gravel trap cost a likely third place, Zukanovic made no mistakes in today's six-lapper on the Albert Park street circuit.
He jumped to sixth place on lap one and then took advantage of a re-start on lap three after a caution period to grab third.
A lap later he was in the lead and held on to beat Allan Simonsen, in another Ford, across the finish line by almost one second.
Team Brock new recruit Ryal Harris put in the best performance of his ute racing career to finish third.
Today's race saw the top and bottom halves of the 28-car grid start in reverse qualifying order, with Albury's Dave Griffin on pole in a Brad Jones Racing-entered Ford.
Lap two was run behind the safety car after George Elliot put his Holden off at turn three.
Elliot was able to rejoin the race, eventually finishing 19th, but Gary MacDonald was forced to retire with front-end damage after another lap-one incident.
Harris held the lead from the start into lap four, first over Griffin and then Kim Jane (Holden), but Simonsen and South Australian Gary Baxter (Holden) were working their way up the field past Damien White (Ford) and Charlie Kovacs (Holden).
In an action-packed race, the pressure stayed on until the end.
Baxter set the fastest lap of the race so far on lap four and then lost four places when he ran off the track next time around.
Simonsen set the fastest lap of the race, 2 minutes 25.45 seconds, on the second-last lap as he charged past Harris into second place.
Kovacs came home fourth and ute tyro James Moffat scored his second straight fifth place in an Allan Grice Racing Ford.
Yesterday's winner Jack Elsegood finished ninth after starting 13th on the reverse grid.
The V8 Utes will have their third and last race at 5.40 pm tomorrow, with Elsegood on pole, beside Zukanovic, and ahead of Baxter and Kovacs.
<pre> Results -- Race 2 (6 laps) 1. Marcus Zukanovic Vic. Ford Falcon XR8 2. Allan Simonsen Vic. Ford 3. Ryal Harris Qld Holden SS 4. Charlie Kovacs SA Holden 5. James Moffat Vic. Ford 6. Ian McAlister NSW Ford
Fastest lap: Allan Simonsen 2:25.45
Saturday 5 March 5.40 pm -- Race 3 (8 laps) grid decided on aggregate points from race 1 and race 2 finishing positions