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Utes legend returns for Gold Coast cameo

THE V8 SuperUte Series field has been bolstered by the presence of Ryal Harris for the season-closing Gold Coast round this weekend.

Winner of the 2021 title, Harris shifted focus to the Super2 Series this year but has experienced a tough run to be just 14th in the standings.

He’ll return to more familiar settings for his home event, steering Gerard Maggs’ Ford Ranger.

For the occasion, Harris will don the #1 with Super Butcher backing.

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“I’m very excited to be back, I love racing around the Gold Coast track, it’s my home round and I’ve had a lot of success at this event over the years but running #1 is an added bonus,” said the 37-year-old.

“Racing in front of family and friends as well as all my amazing sponsors gives me an extra bit of drive to do well and repay them for the support.”

Harris during the most recent Super2 round at Sandown. Pic: Nathan Wong

The October 28-30 event will be the first visit to the Gold Coast for the SuperUtes since returning to V8 power last year.

“You can’t overdrive this circuit because if you overshoot a corner you are either in the wall on exit, or doing a flick turn in the run-off,” said Harris.

“Calculated risk is the trick to getting around this track fast.

“You don’t have to brush up walls and pin the mirrors back to get the best lap time. Just nail the back chicane and flow the car through the slower stuff and you will do well.

“I’m so thankful for Gerard for giving me the keys to his rig.

“I’ve been trying for months to get a seat for this round so I will do all I can to get the SuperUte set up nicely for him in preparation for 2023.”

Harris is the only driver to have won titles in each of the V8 Utes, diesel-powered SuperUtes and V8 SuperUtes eras.

He is not expected to return to Super2 in 2023 but does have one round remaining this year: the Adelaide 500 in early December.

Aaron Borg is in the box seat to win the 2022 V8 SuperUtes crown, entering the Gold Coast with a 105-point lead over nearest rival Craig Woods.

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