CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CALDER RACE ONE 25th JULY 1999 ROCK STOPS RACE AS FITZY BEATS FERRARI Peter Fitzgerald stormed to victory in race one of round six of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CALDER RACE ONE 25th JULY 1999
ROCK STOPS RACE AS FITZY BEATS FERRARI
Peter Fitzgerald stormed to victory in race one of round six of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship after the race was halted by a rock on the circuit.
Believed to have been thrown onto the circuit, officials were forced to red flag the event shortly after Fitzgerald had found a way past the flying Ferrari F355 Challenge of Wayne Park.
Park made a barnstorming start and led the opening 17 laps before tyre problems slowed his pace.
A safety car period late in the race did not help the Queenslander who eventually fell back to third place.
The safety car period was caused by Paula Elstrek’s Maserati Ghibli, which broke a brake disk rotor, coming to a sudden stop in a dangerous position on the circuit.
But for Park, the red flag came too late to give him his first GTP victory.
"We have chosen a tyre package which turned out to be a little soft and the car was struggling for grip at the end of the race," Park said.
"We almost made a bit of a gap in traffic, but we got held up shortly after.
"Starting from pole in the second race today will be an advantage but our tyre problem won’t go away. We will just have to keep our fingers crossed that we can make a break again and try to hold on."
Jim Richards (Porsche 911 RSCS) took second place while Championship rival Domenic Beninca’s hopes of defending his crown were shattered by an engine failure, putting him out for the day.
Rod Salmon pulled out his best result for the year in 6th place in the Meguiar’s Top Marques Class A division aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V.
Geoff Full’s domination of the Autobarn Class B division has finally been toppled. Mark King took the victory after Full had to fight back after engine problems yesterday.
Peter Phelan’s recent strong Class C form continued with victory aboard his Holden Commodore VT SS. Mark Cohen took second place after the results were taken back one lap after the red flag. Cohen blew a fuse aboard his VS model Commodore which stopped the car.
Wayne Russell’s troubled run with diff problems continued aboard his BMW 323i in Class S. Ric Shaw’s stranglehold on the class title in his Toyota MR2 Bathurst was strengthened with another victory.
Phil Kirkham’s winning form in his GTP Lights Class D Mazda 626 continued in race one, accounting for the Holden Vectra 2.2 GL of Melinda Price.
Sam Newman suffered a late race spin, finishing just ahead of the Class S car of Megan Kirkham who he tapped into a spin yesterday.
Nathan Thomas got his Class E title attack back on track with his Suzuki Swift GTi. Thomas won from young GTP rookie Craig Dontas while Kosi Kalaitzidis’ Proton M21 Coupe suffered gearbox problems.
RESULTS RACE ONE - 19 LAPS
1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 22:21.733 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 22:23.126 3. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) - 22:23.173 4. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 22:32.677 Class B - Mark King, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III - 23:00.125 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - down 1 lap Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - down 2 laps Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - down 2 laps Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - down 1 lap
COMPLETE RESULTS http://www.racetime.com.au/racedata/c9933/r06res.htm
Paul Ryan http://www.gtprod.com.au/