Sunday, Feb 10 06:58pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Andrew Porter wins final, but Matt Spratt takes the round

Andrew Porter won the final race of the V8 Utes are Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, but it was Matt Spratt who won the round.


Spratt started the race from pole position with Andrew Porter alongside. Neither of them would come out of the first turn with the lead, however, as they bogged down off the line.


Second row starters Peter Ward and Glen Collinson got blisteringly quick starts to usurp both Spratt and Porter. Ward went full onto the grass and narrowly avoided a big crash at turn one as he just managed to pull his car up into the sweeping right-hander.


Collinson led the field out of Turn 1 with Porter not far behind. Geoff Spencer slotted into third with Spratt down to fourth.


Ward continued to find himself in trouble. This time it was Alexandra Whitley who clipped the left rear quarter of Ward at Splash. The demolition driver got slightly sideways and lost a bit of ground to the leading quartet.


Stu Monteith suffered a left front suspension failure at Higgins. He was forced to retire from the race.


Porter pressured Collinson for the lead come lap two. Their battle nearly ended in disaster as they approached the start of lap three. Porter got to the inside of Collinson, but the door closed rapidly on Porter. The pair made contact and smoke bellowed from the back of Collinson’s car.


Porter took to the grass while Collinson got loose on the front straight. Both managed to come away unscathed though.


Porter finally found a way by into Turn 1 on lap three and established a lead.


Ward punched the back of Spratt’s ute into Turn 1 on lap four but nothing came of the contact. Later in the lap Spratt got alongside Spencer at Higgins. On entry to the corner, Spencer lost the rear of his ute and ended up nearly spinning. He lost ground and Ward blew by.


Porter was well in front by lap five, Collinson some two seconds in arrears.


After losing time to the front runners, Spencer began to come under pressure from Alexandra Whitley. The Australian ace ran the racing line out of the corner, but a slight overlap between her and Spencer saw the latter end up in the grass and Whitley wagging her tail with four laps to go. Whitley held the position.


The final few laps ran without much incident. Spencer fell off the road late in the piece. Meanwhile, Porter cruised home to victory while Collinson held off Spratt and Ward.


The final round of the V8 Utes Series takes place at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in March.