TOURING car ace John Bowe gave the Ford Mustang an impressive return to motor racing today by claiming pole position for round two of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn. Bowe topped...
TOURING car ace John Bowe gave the Ford Mustang an impressive return to motor racing today by claiming pole position for round two of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn.
Bowe topped an exciting qualifying battle with a lap of 1 minute 5.66 seconds in his Prancing Horse team Mustang Cobra RA, which turned a wheel for the first time only last Tuesday.
The last time a major team entered a Mustang was in 1986, when Dick Johnson drove one in the Australian Touring Car Championship.
Bowe finally set his fastest lap near the end of a half-hour session, after his early provisional pole was beaten first by Bob Hughes in a Mitsubishi Evo VI and then by Wayne Boatwright in a Subaru Impreza.
His eventual margin over Boatwright was almost 0.4 sec., but he said his chances in tomorrow's two races were far from certain.
"We put on some fresh tyres and went and did one fast lap, but this is a tight track and tomorrow I expect the four wheel drive Mitsubishis and Subarus will be difficult to beat because of their superior grip," Bowe said.
"Also, we've never done a standing start and we've fitted soft tyres which may not hold up over the race distance."
Boatwright, the only Subaru driver to win a GTP race, set his front-row time in a car he said was far from perfect.
"We blew an engine last Wednesday and the car wasn't repaired until early this morning. We've had no practice time to sort it out properly, but I'm a little scared to fiddle with it since we're on the front row," he said.
The expected challenge from the Mustang's Holden rivals failed to materialise in qualifying.
Former British Formula Ford champion Philip Polites was the fastest Holden Commodore V8, in 12th place.
LOADSMAN FASTEST IN GT PRODUCTION SERIES
Scott Loadsman, in a Holden Commodore SS V8, will start from pole position tomorrow in round one of the GT Production series of the GTP championship.
His time of 1 minute 9.46 seconds was 2.6 sec. faster than second-placed Daryl Coon in a Ford Falcon XR6.
Series newcomer Alan Holgersson was third in a Toyota Camry, while former Formula Ford racer Luke Youlden topped the Four-cylinder Touring class in a Holden Astra SRi. <pre>
GT Performance, round 2 1. J. Bowe (Ford Mustang Cobra RA) 1:05.66 2. W. Boatwright (Subaru Impreza) 1:06.02 3. R. Hughes (Mitsubishi Evo VI) 1:06.35 4. R. Pearson (Mazda RX-7) 1:06.58 5. M. King (Mitsubishi Evo V) 1:06.72 6. G. Deane (Subaru Impreza STi) 1:06.94
GT Production, round 1 1. S. Loadsman (Commodore SS) 1:09.46 2. D. Coon (Falcon XR6) 1:09.72 3. A.Holgersson (Camry) 1:10.34 4. J. McIlroy (Falcon XR8) 1:10.67 5. R. Winston (Commodore SS) 1:11.13 6. R. Chadwick (Magna Sports) 1:11.54
Poolrite High Performance: R. Hughes. Hippies Sports Touring: W. Russell (BMW 323i) 1:10.14. Poolrite V8 Touring: S. Loadsman. Poolrite Six-cylinder Touring: D. Coon. Poolrite Four-cylinder Touring: L. Youlden (Holden Astra) 1:13.94.
WEEKEND TIMETABLE: Sunday - 9.25 am GT Production (race 1, 15 min.), 10.50 am GT Performance (race 1, 15 min.), 1.30 pm GT Production (race 2, 15 min.), 3 pm GT Performance (race 2, 15 min.).