2 March 2002 / Race 3 - Cleanevent Nations Cup Briscoe Rewards F1 Mentors With Nations Cup Win RYAN Briscoe, the next young Australian on track for Formula One, rewarded his mentors with a thrilling win at the wheel of a Ferrari in race...
2 March 2002 / Race 3 - Cleanevent Nations Cup
Briscoe Rewards F1 Mentors With Nations Cup Win
RYAN Briscoe, the next young Australian on track for Formula One, rewarded his mentors with a thrilling win at the wheel of a Ferrari in race three of the Cleanevent Nations Cup at the Fosters Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne today.
Briscoe, 20, started from 11th place in a field of 27 and confidently held off three-time Australian Gold Star champion Paul Stokell, in a Lamborghini, as the pair charged through to the front.
Their $700,000-plus Italian coupes were rarely separated by more than a car length during the race, which officials shortened from 12 laps to 10 after abandoning the first rolling start and then when a crash obstructed the track in the closing stages.
In their hectic chase, both Briscoe and Stokell broke the lap record Stokell had set only on Thursday.
Stokell failed in a late passing move at the end of the back straight and followed Briscoe home by 0.45 seconds, with Geoff Morgan taking the final podium spot in a Chrysler Viper.
With Peter Fitzgerald finishing fourth in a Porsche GT3 Cup, the first four places were filled by cars with engines of eight, 12, 10 and six cylinders respectively.
The win was a milestone for Briscoe, who has been hired as test driver for the Toyota Formula One team and was brought to Australia from his Italian base this weekend by a consortium of local benefactors to give him experience of the Albert Park circuit.
It was the former kart star's first win in a closed-cockpit car in Australia - or anywhere.
The Cleanevent Nations Cup will conclude tomorrow with a six-lap sprint just before the grand prix and is expected to provoke another exciting clash between the fastest sports cars from Italy, Germany and America.
RESULTS, Race 3 (10 laps):
1. Ryan Briscoe (Ferrari 360 Michelotto)
2. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo GTR)
3. Geoff Morgan (Chrysler Viper)
4. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3 Cup)
5. Rusty French (Chrysler Viper)
6. Jim Richards (Porsche GT3 Cup)
Pole position: Fitzgerald. Fastest race lap: Briscoe 2:02.513
TIMETABLE: Sunday, 12.15 Race 4 (6 laps).