Return to success for Dontas with top five in Townsville
Adelaide’s Craig Dontas has had a strong return to form on the streets of Townsville in round four of the East Coast Bullbars Australian V8 Ute Racing Series. With a top five overall round finish, including a fourth place result in the final race of the weekend, Craig is set for a strong second half of the season kicking off at Sandown in September.
The Just Car Insurance Racing Holden V8 Ute showed promising speed from the outset of the weekend, with the fourth quickest lap on combined times from Friday’s two practice sessions with a 1:27.671. Building upon this, Craig managed to secure the fastest time in the twelve minute qualifying session for all cars, placing him on provisional pole with a 1:26.300. The five minute shootout for the top ten then saw Dontas place seventh which is where he started race one.
Consistency proved key in the first race of the weekend with Craig moving to sixth on lap four. Contact with fellow competitor Kris Walton resulted in Dontas being stuck in eighth through to the end, thus missing out on benefiting from the top six grid reversal for race two.
Starting from eighth, encouraging early speed rose the Just Car Insurance Racing pilot to sixth on lap one, again engaging in a strong battle with Walton for position. Despite dropping back to seventh on lap four, Craig then moved back into sixth for the last five laps of the race. A Safety Car interrupted the final race of the weekend which somewhat held up a charge by Craig with an improvement in position, rising to fifth on lap five with a move to fourth on the penultimate lap. The result therefore placed him fifth for the round, just one point behind fourth.
“We made great inroads early in the weekend, being fast in practice and that was certainly a great feeling on the back of the disappointment we experienced in Darwin. It was a true credit to the immense amount of hard work and effort put in by the Erebus Motorsport V8 Ute team in between rounds to deliver us a fast car. To set the fastest time in qualifying and then be starting well inside the top ten for race one was a big achievement for us, and certainly gave me plenty of confidence for the races.”
“As a team, we made significant developments throughout the three races across the weekend. To finish as high as fourth by race three was a great feeling, considering how close and tough the racing was and the difficulty to pass around the Townsville track. We had good speed and an excellent setup all weekend and that certainly helped to ensure we could finish where we did.”
“I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season and things are definitely looking up for everyone at Just Car Insurance Racing. The whole team worked so well together and that helped to ensure we could be on top of our game every time we hit the track. Sandown will be another challenge but I feel as though we are really moving forward towards more success for the remaining rounds.”
Round five of the 2015 East Coast Bullbars Australian V8 Ute Racing Series takes place at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria from September 11-13 with all races to be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.