New Zealand's Jonny McIntyre not only stunned his rivals, but surprised even his own crew with a blistering 1:21.3898 in the first qualifying session for round two of the Trans Tasman Challenge and round four of the Reward Insurance Australian ...
New Zealand's Jonny McIntyre not only stunned his rivals, but surprised even his own crew with a blistering 1:21.3898 in the first qualifying session for round two of the Trans Tasman Challenge and round four of the Reward Insurance Australian Sports Sedan Championship.
It was the Kiwi quick man's first visit to the rural Victorian setting of Winton where he expected that his Tranzam Chev Corvette would not be as quick as the Australian lightweight specials. Indeed he was over half a second faster than nearest rival, the defending Australian Sports Sedan Champion Tony Ricciardello in his Chev-powered Alfa Romeo.
McIntyre is aiming for a back-to-back win in the TTT after his Phillip Island success while he is ineligible for points in the ASSC along with fellow Kiwi Bernie Gillon who qualified a disappointing seventh in his Ford Mustang after heading the timesheets early on.
Meanwhile Ricciardello has not only the TTT to think about but also the capture of his fifth Australian Sports Sedan Championship. Currently he is 40 points behind leader Kerry Baily whose Nissan/Chev snared fourth position just as the session was completed.
Along with third placed Darren Hossack in his Saab/Chev, the three are expected to fight out this round of the national championship although Mark Stinson (Calibra/Chev) and Daniel Jameson (Jaguar/Chev) are quick contenders this weekend, earning provisional fifth, sixth and eighth respectively.
In ninth at the moment is Ray Ayton in another Calibra/Chev although his session was terminated earlier than expected after an incident with the Holden Commodore/Chev of Michael Robinson which temporarily halted proceedings.
The only non-V8 in the field, the Calibra/Fiat Turbo of Graham Smith is tenth as little separates the next three of Rodney Woods, Stephen Lichtenberger and Robinson.
<pre> ROUND FOUR FIRST QUALIFYING 1 John McIntyre NZ Chev Corvette Tranzam 1:21.3898 2 Tony Ricciardello WA Alfa Romeo GTV/Chev V8 1:21.9352 3 Darren Hossack VIC SAAB/Chev V8 1:22.3245 4 Kerry Baily TAS Nissan ZX300/Chev V8 1:22.5860 5 Mark Stinson NSW Holden Calibra/Chev V8 9 6 1:22.6110 6 Daniel Jameson NSW Jaguar XKR/Chev V8 1:23.2267 7 Bernard Gillon NZ Ford Mustang Tranzam 1:23.3802 8 Dean Randle VIC SAAB/Chev V8 1:24.6810 9 Ray Ayton VIC Holden Calibra/Chev V8 1:26.9230 10 Graham Smith NSW Opel Calibra/Fiat Turbo V6 1:27.9751 11 Rodney Woods VIC Holden Commodore/Chev V8 1:28.1153 12 Stephen Lichtenberger Mazda RX7/Chev V8 1:28.1932 13 Michael Robinson VIC Holden Commodore/Chev V8 1:28.4464 14 Stephen Vines VIC Ford Cortina 1:30.3152 15 Milton Seferis VIC Holden Calibra/Chev V8 1:31.0847 16 Dean Camm VIC Honda Prelude/Chev V8 1:31.2971 17 Willie Van Wersch VIC Holden Commodore 1:32.7122 18 George Mengarda VIC Holden Commodore/Chev V8 1:36.1624 19 Andrew Gillespie VIC Ford Falcon XR8 V8 1:37.3433
ROUND FOUR SCHEDULE Saturday August 2: Qualifying 10:45, 16:20. Sunday June 1: Warm-Up 8:55-9:05, Race One (8 laps) 10:35, Sunday June 1: Race One (10 laps) 13:10, Race Two (12 laps) 15:05.
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after three round) 1-Kerry Baily 119, =2-Dean Randle 79, Tony Ricciardello 79, 4-Darren Hossack 52, 5-Graham Smith 46, 6-Des Wall 42, 7-Phil Crompton 41, 8-Mark Stinson 39, 9-Rodney Woods 38, 10-Mark Duggan 35.
CHAMPIONSHIP DATES Round Five Sandown Raceway (Vic) September 12-14