1998 BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP
OPENING ROUND AT CALDER PARK RACEWAY
The opening round of the 1998 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship series for 2.0-litre cars will be the feature event at Melbourne's Calder Park Raceway famous road race circuit on April 4 - 5.
Local touring car hero Jim Richards in the Volvo Dealer Team / Sikaflex Volvo S40 is determined to gain maximum points over the pair of Audi Sport Australia entered Audi A4 quatrros of Brad Jones and young team-mate Cameron McConville.
A strong challenge for round honours is expected from the '97 Privateer Champion Cameron McLean in his Greenfield Mowers / Redex / Motorola backed ex-works BMW 320i, along with the Honda Accord of Mark Adderton and former Formula Holden open wheeler exponent Adam Kaplan in a super swift Nissan Primera.
A total of eighteen of the high technology two-litre engined Super Tourers representing eleven different automotive manufacturers have entered for the first round of the '98 BOC Gases championship series at Calder Park Raceway.
"I believe that the race fans in the grandstand and on the many spectator mounds will be treated to some great passing moves and exciting racing," said Richards, a multiple Bathurst 1000 enduro champion. "The Calder Park layout always tends to provide plenty of high-speed action, as the drivers jockey for an advantage under braking, plus there is always some form of panel rubbing and damage with this form of motorsport."
Heading the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship series opener is the Falken Tyres Porsche 911 RSCS of defending champion Peter Fitzgerald, who expects solid opposition from touring car stalwart John Bowe at the wheel of Ross Palmer's sleek Ferrari F355 Challenge machine plus fellow Porsche campaigner Domenic Beninca.
Palmer intends to join the championship action this season, so he will be joining the thirty-six car entry list in his team's new Ford Falcon XR6 sedan as they scurry around the track during qualifying to make the thirty-two grid postions.
Hoping to gain his first GT Production victory is John Bourke in a specially prepared Toyota Supra RZ which features a twin-turbo powerplant which is certain to display a superb turn of speed on the long main straight at Calder Park Raceway.
Other contenders seeking maximum round points include multiple Australian Driver's Championship winner Alfredo Costanzo at the wheel of the impressive twin-turbocharged Maserati Ghibli with Sydney-based drivers Garry Waldon and Ray Lintott in their booming eight-litre V10 powered Dodge Viper GTS sports cars.
"It's great that the excitement associated with national championship super touring racing is returning to Calder Park Raceway once again," said Ed Ritchie, Managing Director of Calder Park Motorsport. "I believe that this race meeting will provide the race fans, corporate groups, sponsors, race teams plus the Network Ten viewers with an exciting entertainment experience."
A field of twenty-five Porsches will supply an abundance of door-handle-to-door-handle racing in the Australian Porsche Cup series events.
The support program features rounds of the Australian Formula Two Championship plus the for ROH Wheels Commodore Cup series with additional events for the popular HQ Holdens. Qualifying will take place on Saturday between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm. On Sunday the on-track entertainment commences at 9.10 am with the first warm-up session and the twelve race program commencing at 10.00 am. - finishing at approximately 4.30 pm.