McLeod Racing’s Gerard “Maverick” McLeod has scored his first outright round win in the Australian V8ute racing series with a stellar performance at last weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 in Melbourne.
The weekend started poorly for the team with the Melbourne based driver struggling to find a good balance in the RYCO ROCKET during the two Friday practice sessions and this continued into the all-important afternoon qualifying session. McLeod could only manage 16th overall in qualifying after being caught out by a badly timed red flag period which was the first time the team had been outside the Top-10 in over 7 rounds.
Saturday morning’s Race 1 saw McLeod get his usual blinding start and start making his way through the field with front running pace ending the 12 lap race in 8th outright and no damage on the ute.
“I had to push hard in the race to try and salvage something from out terrible qualifying result. Eighth should get us in the inversion for this afternoon’s reverse grid Race 2 and we have a very fast car so we should be looking good” said a positive McLeod.
Race 2 saw the top nine cars be inverted meaning McLeod would start on the front row of the grid next to Ford’s George Miedecke. McLeod bolted off the line and established an early lead however late race pressure came from the Ford of Miedecke and contact was made with the back of the RYCO ROCKET at turn 9 under brakes sending McLeod wide, resulting in Andrew Fisher taking the lead of the race on the final lap and McLeod having to settle for second.
“I got a great start and settled into a good groove. I knew I had the pace to hold off George for the win so the contact with two laps to go was not ideal but that’s racing sometimes I suppose” said a smiling McLeod.
McLeod would start the third and final race of the weekend yet again from the front row of the grid and in a fantastic position to win the round. Another blinding start saw McLeod lead into turn one and establish an early and comfortable lead. McLeod was never headed and even after a mid-race safety car period went on to claim his second V8ute race win and first ever round victory to the delight of the whole RYCO Racing team.
“I can’t be happier right now. To end up with the round win after such a poor qualifying result now proves that we are a genuine contender in this series. The car is amazing to drive and my confidence is growing every time I hop in the driver’s seat. I can’t thank my hard working crew enough for all their hard work and of course all of our commercial sponsors for standing by us this year. I cannot wait to get to Bathurst in 4 weeks and fight for another round win at Mount Panorama” said a delighted McLeod
McLeod now sits 5th overall in the V8ute championship standings and is only 12 points behind 3rd positioned David Sieders with three rounds of the championship remaining. The next round of the V8ute Racing series is at Mt Panorama Bathurst for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on the 8-11 of October.