Taking the fight to the last round, Ross Stone Racing’s Tom Alexander has won the highly contested Coates Hire Newcastle 500, driving his Caltex Delo® Racing Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte to win the Round, after securing pole, a win and two second-place podiums.
Tom Alexander is certainly no stranger to this coastal street circuit, with the young-Kiwi previously winning the round in the inaugural 2018 season.
Taking to the 2.64 kilometre street circuit of Newcastle, Tom Alexander started his final Round of the season with a commanding 60-point lead over championship rival, Cameron Crick. With solid laps under his belt during Practice, that lead quickly amounted to 65-points, when Alexander took Pole Position on Friday, with a 1:28.4880, a solid 0.3225s ahead of Ryal Harris who would start in P2.
Starting from Pole, Alexander dominated Race 1, winning his fifth race of the 2019 season by a solid 2.1654s over season rival, Cameron Crick. Further down the field, 2018-Champion, Ryal Harris crossed the line in P3, a further 3.3471s behind the Team Triton driver.
As per the reverse start format of the category, Race 2 saw Alexander start from the backrow. With ground to make up and valuable championship-points to secure, Alexander made some early passes on the opening lap, all before a four-car crash involving the lead pack blocked turn 1 on lap 2, resulting in a safety car and lengthy clean up. With green flags resuming the race moments after, Alexander made quick moves on the field, into P2, where he remained before crossing the line, just off the bumper of Craig Woods.
With the combined results of the first two races, Alexander had built an unassailable lead in the standings to provisionally claim the Championship, as well as earning himself a front row start for the grand finale, Race 3. Off the line, it was a drag race to turn 1 with Cameron Crick. Further behind on the third row, Ryal Harris had stellar start from P5, rocketing off the line to take P3 by the first bend. From there, Harris upped the pressure on Crick before making a pass stick into P2. With pressure mounting from a charging Harris, Alexander went defensive into turn 8, with Harris getting aggressive and spinning Alexander, the race leader to a halt—a move that would later earn him a 15 second penalty. Re-joining the procession in P4, Alexander was 10 seconds off the lead pack and charging back through towards the front. In the closing moments of the final lap, Alexander clawed back to overtake second placed Craig Woods at turn 11, crossing the line in 2nd to claim the Round win on 174 points.
- Tom Alexander
Winning here in Newcastle is such a great feeling—I love this place and we’ve had incredible success here last year, and again this year.
I’m so happy for our Team, our sponsors— thanks Caltex and Isuzu for the support— and everyone watching back home in NZ. Without their support we wouldn’t be here, for that, I’m grateful.
The Newcastle 500 marks the final round of the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Championship, with Tom Alexander securing enough points to be crowned the 2019 SuperUtes Champion. With the SuperUtes category set to shift from the production car diesel power plants to a controlled-class V8 petrol power plant, no decision has currently been made on whether the Caltex Delo® Racing Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte will return for the 2020 ECB SuperUtes Season.
For the 2019 ECB SuperUtes Season, Ross Stone Racing prepared and campaigned the Caltex Delo® Racing Isuzu D-MAX SuperUte, with Tom Alexander behind the wheel. 2019 marks the first season that Isuzu UTE Australia has been involved, partnering with Ross Stone Racing on the D-MAX SuperUte, which is built on the Isuzu D-MAX Crew Cab ute platform, utilising the production fitted 3-litre turbo diesel engine, with minor revisions to the powertrain and suspension setup.
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 Results
Practice 1 – 5th
Practice 2 – 1st
Qualifying – 1st
Race 1 – 1st
Race 2 – 2nd
Race 3 – 2nd
Championship Points at the conclusion of 2019 ECB SuperUtes Season
|Luke van Herwaarde