FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May, 10 2017 (Mesa, Arizona) – The buzz in motorsports is actually a loud and raspy V8 engine that powers Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks (SST). The exciting racing has caught international attention and fans around the world eagerly anticipate the next event. Over the weekend, the Stadium Super Trucks debuted in Western Australia when the Virgin Australia Supercars stopped over at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth.
Once again the SST racing action was off the hook and were the absolute show stopper. Fans witnessed the mayhem of a dozen high performance off road trucks racing 100 mph and jumping off huge ramps. Gavin Harlien, pilot of the #55 Royal Purple SST, was a major factor in the weekend’s events and went on to capture two podium finishes; 2nd place on Saturday and 3rd place on Sunday, taking 5th overall on the weekend.
Going into Friday’s Round 8, Harlien was brimming with confidence coming off of the back-to-back podium finishes in Rounds 6 & 7 at the famous Long Beach Grand Prix in April. Harlien qualified a respectable 4th in Friday’s session which put him in the 8th starting position due to the full field inversion series protocol. This format puts the faster qualifying trucks in the back of the field.
As the first SST Race at Barbagallo Raceway prepared for the green flag, a dozen Stadium Super Trucks paraded around the track. Even on the warm up laps, the trucks were sending it off the jumps making big air and the fans in the packed grandstands were on their feet wild with anticipation. Once the green flag dropped, Gavin was making moves. Unfortunately, on Lap 1, a bad end over end crash, and the wreck of the weekend, happened right in front of the #55 Royal Purple SST landing off one of the ramps. Harlien stabbed the brakes hard with evasive action to steer clear of the wreckage. The truck stalled out and would not re-fire. Gavin was beyond frustrated; “I had a truck that could have won the race today. It is a bummer but that’s racing,” stated Harlien.
Saturday’s Qualifying Session commenced and again Harlien experienced truck issues and was not able to record any laps. This actually had a positive outcome. With Gavin posting no time, he would start on the pole with the inversion format. “I was somewhat concerned that my truck had a re-occurring mechanical gremlin,” Gavin explained. “I am confident the world class mechanics we travel with are more than capable to sort it out before we go green,” Harlien said before the race.
With the #55 Royal Purple Synthetic Lubricants on the pole for Round 9, Gavin got the Green Flag and jumped out to a huge lead. “I was not holding anything back,” recalled Harlien. As the race progressed, Gavin was able to lead all but the last lap when the legend Robby Gordon muscled past Harlien to take position. Gavin did not give up and made a bold move on the very last turn. It was a solid attempt and clean racing, but he was just half a truck too short as the leading pair crossed over the finish line. Gavin lead the entire race except the very last turn on the final lap and took the 2nd place finish on the podium. “I should have forced my way past Robby and took the win,” declared Harlien. “I won’t be that nice next time.”
Sunday’s Round 10 featured the #55 SST starting in the 6th position. This race, being the final of the weekend, saw several cautions and an abnormal amount of roll over wrecks. It seems that everyone wanted to finish on top and was really going for it. Gavin pushed his way into the top five where the leaders were putting on a great battle. Harlien was able to position himself into 3rd place and was intent to challenge Robby Gordon and Sheldon Creed for the race win. One last opportunity presented a 3 way race to the finish where Gordon cut deep inside passing for the lead, and Creed maintained enough speed to regain the position all the while Harlien was right on the bumper of each vehicle. It was an intense finish with all three trucks jumping across the finish line, in the air, nose to tail; Creed 1st, Gordon 2nd, Harlien 3rd.
Gavin was happy to earn another 3rd place finish with the #55 Royal Purple Synthetic Lubricants truck and record another weekend of back-to-back podium finishes in Perth. “I’m happy to get 2 out of 3 podium finishes,” Harlien cheered. “If I didn’t have bad luck on Friday with the mechanical issues, I believe we could have had the overall victory for the weekend.” Harlien placed 5th overall and is moving up in the Stadium Super Truck Championship Standings.
Gavin Harlien will continue on for SST Rounds 11 & 12 at Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit Michigan on June 2-4th.
ABOUT GAVIN HARLIEN : Gavin Harlien is a highly spirited youth who lives for competition. The 2x X-Games Athlete is a natural born competitor and an extreme apex contender up for any challenge, especially motorsports. Gavin competes at the top level in a variety of racing disciplines which include professional short course off road racing, Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Robby Gordon’s Formula Off Road Stadium Super Trucks, Go-Kart Racing, and now Red Bull Global Rally Cross racing. Harlien’s regular access to high profile national events and the corresponding media packages offers support partners an exceptional platform to maximize brand awareness through strategic sports marketing initiatives and social interaction campaigns which will put him in front of 1,000,000+ fans during the 2015 race season.