AUSF3: UTE: Symmons: Saturday qualifying report

Morgan's Viper the top eliminator at Symmons. LAUNCESTON - Chrysler Viper driver Geoff Morgan will start from pole position in tomorrow's second round of the Australian Nations Cup Championship after winning an exciting qualifying battle at ...

Morgan's Viper the top eliminator at Symmons.

LAUNCESTON - Chrysler Viper driver Geoff Morgan will start from pole position in tomorrow's second round of the Australian Nations Cup Championship after winning an exciting qualifying battle at Symmons Plains Raceway today.

Morgan, from Sydney, won all his three heats of the new Top 8 Eliminator qualifying format, beating in turn Tony Quinn (Porsche), John Bowe (Ferrari) and Jim Richards (Porsche) to take the pole and one championship point.

Drivers were sceptical about the debut of the Top 8 Eliminator, which pitted the fastest eight drivers from qualifying against each other in seven one-lap races between two cars at a time.

But ultimately it produced several entertaining contests. John Bowe took to the dirt in his $750,000 Ferrari 360 GT as he fought Morgan for the first corner and they raced almost side-by-side to the left-hand hairpin, where Morgan got ahead for the final time.

"The Viper's got long legs and it's a nice feeling when that big 10-cylinder engine opens up on the straights. Winning pole is good, but tomorrow we have two 35-lap races and I have no doubt that Bowe, Stokell and Richards and the others will be pushing hard and trying to fnd any weakness," Morgan said.

Former Ford Falcon driver Brian Carr claimed pole in the Group Two Nations Cup division, in his first run aboard a Ferrari 360.

Qualifying competition was intense across all categories, watched by a large crowd in warm and sunny weather.

David Wood claimed the first pole position for his new Subaru Impreza STi in a hotly-contested qualifying for the Australian GT Performance Championship.

Less than a second covered the top 10 drivers, of whom only two were not in Japanese turbo cars.

The fastest driver in yesterday's practice, Melbourne's Peter Floyd, slipped to 10th spot with fuel surge problems in his Holden Commodore GTS, but it still likely to be a serious contender on Symmons' long straights.

Sydney driving instructor Warren Luff maintained his dominance of the Poolrite V8 BRute Muster, extending his series lead with one point earned for the fastest qualifying lap.

Switching from a Commodore to a Falcon for the Tasmanian round, Luff set a time of 1 minute 6.74 seconds, beating James (Commodore) and Damien White (Falcon).

Despite Luff's pole position for the first of tomorrow's three round-two races will be taken by Falcon driver Grant Denyer, as all starting positions in the V8 BRutes are decided by a draw.

FAST FACTS about the PROCAR Champ Series at Symmons Plains

* Sunday 7 April (From 9 am). 15 races, all categories. Ute Muster display and competition for road utes. Driver autograph sessions at 11.30 pm and 1.30 pm.

* Categories - Nations Cup (Rd 2), GT Performance (Rd 2), GT Production Cars (Rd 2), V8 BRutes (Rd 2), Formula 3 (Rd 2), Mitsubishi Mirages (Rd 1), Combined Local Sedans.

* Tickets - Adults $25, students 12-16 years $10. Ute drivers enter free with paying adult.

See the PROCAR Champ Series on SBS Speedweek and Inside Speed on Fox Sports!

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About this article
Series V8 SUPERCARS , F3
Drivers Jim Richards , John Bowe , Tony Quinn , Grant Denyer , Peter Floyd , Geoff Morgan , Warren Luff , David Wood
Tags AUSUTE