PCAA: Phillip Island round five preview

FAST AND SLOW MATCH UP AT THE ISLAND As the rounds unfold, the battle to find the 2005 Shannons Australian Production Car Champion gets tighter and tighter. Round Five at Phillip Island on August 20-21 should be no different and could see the ...

FAST AND SLOW MATCH UP AT THE ISLAND

As the rounds unfold, the battle to find the 2005 Shannons Australian Production Car Champion gets tighter and tighter. Round Five at Phillip Island on August 20-21 should be no different and could see the smaller cars closer to the quicker vehicles due to the fast nature of the famous track.

After gaining a good advantage early, Colin Osborne is gradually having his lead whittled away. The Class B Toyota Celica driver continually wins his class and has a head start in the outright contests, but the faster Class A cars are beginning to make an impression.

Namely it's the nimble and user-friendly Honda S2000 of Drew Russell that is leading the way -- and winning the rounds, as has been the case on the last two occasions.

Not far away is Scott Anderson in the Elf Holden Commodore which has to overcome the plight of running out of brakes most times it runs. But at Phillip Island the big V8 will certainly get to stretch its legs.

So too the rapid Ford Falcon Turbos, in particular the XR6 of David Ryan which has been the quickest car out there before turbo problems set in at the last two outings.

Nick Dunkley's example was on the pace for the first time at the last round on Eastern Creek while Veijo Phillips returns to the entry list along with John Houlder who missed the last meeting due to a middle ear affliction.

Osborne's team mate Trevor Keene is fourth in the series, no doubt pleased to regain the ascendancy over class rival Allan Shephard. The latter's Thrifty Honda Integra had beaten both Toyotas at Queensland Raceway in round three, but round four proved to be a disaster when taken out at the start of the last race at Eastern Creek.

New team mate Steve Briffa started off with a dominant class victory, but the Shephard-owned Celica developed spark plug issues that hampered its progress through the rest of the weekend.

After demonstrating a clear advantage in Class C, Daniel Natoli and the Proton Satria were brought back to earth at round four where the similarly mounted Leigh Mertens was unbeatable.

Stirring performances were also put in by Martin Doxey who will not be running his Holden Astra at PI on the weekend, the Citroen Xsara of Dane Rudolph and Darren Best's Ford Focus.

Each round of the Shannons Australian Production Car Championship is contested over three races. The first is a scratch race with the grid determined from qualifying. The next two races are handicapped and start in class order -- slowest to fastest with the time interval designed to have the front runners in each class finishing together.

-apcc-

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Series CAMS
Drivers Colin Osborne , Trevor Keene , Allan Shephard , Steve Briffa , Leigh Mertens , David Ryan , Scott Anderson , Phillip Island
Teams Citroën World Rally Team