Sandown: Qualifying one report

Ricciardello rout for provisional pole. With a fourth Australian Sports Sedan Championship almost in the bag, Tony Ricciardello had easily been the fastest in the first of two qualifying session for the final round of the 2002 title chase at ...

Ricciardello rout for provisional pole.

With a fourth Australian Sports Sedan Championship almost in the bag, Tony Ricciardello had easily been the fastest in the first of two qualifying session for the final round of the 2002 title chase at Sandown Park, Victoria today. Driving his six litre Chev-powered Alfa Romeo GTV, Ricciardello rocket around the Melbourne layout 1 min 09.0089 seconds, more than a second faster than closest rival Darren Hossack in the similarly powered Saab.

Hossack only has a remote chance of taking the championship, based mainly on Ricciardello scoring virtually no points, and is in a strong position to consolidate second overall. Hossack had a similar time margin on the like Saab of Dean Randle.

Randle who is currently sixth in the championship, has a good chance of climbing to third spot, depending on the finishing position of several others. He has been quick through the lead-up practice sessions and his qualifier is a strong indication of his willingness to take the fight up to his rivals.

Fourth spot and over two seconds off pole is an uncustomary position for fourth time champion Kerry Baily who will be busy overnight working at making his Nissan 300ZX/Chev go faster in tomorrow morning's second chance for a primary grid position.

Daniel Jameson overcame a practice misfire in the Chev powered Jaguar to pip Queensland Phil Crompton's Ford Falcon for fifth position while Tony Wilson will be another to put in some late hours, getting his Commodore quick enough to defend his third championship position.

South Australian Mick Monterosso was eighth quickest in his Ford Escort/Chev ahead of the steadily improving local Ray Ayton in a Calibra/Chev and Llynden Reithmuller in a Mazda RX7 powered by a fast but somewhat fickle Ford Sierra Turbo engine.

Steve Vines pushed his Ford Cortina V8 to a last minute 11th pushing back Mark Duggan's Calibra/Chev and the Honda Prelude/Chev. Around 25 cars will front up for qualifying but will not include Fred Axisa whose Commodore VT/Chev crashed in the second session after the fast rise on the back straight. He was believed to be traveling at around 270 kmh before missing his braking marker.

-assc-

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Series General
Drivers Darren Hossack , Phil Crompton