CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CALDER RACE TWO 25th JULY 1999 FITZY WINS AS COHENâ€™S HOPES GO UP IN SMOKE Comeback man Peter Fitzgerald is setting himself up for a stunning fightback in the Century Batteries...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CALDER RACE TWO 25th JULY 1999
FITZY WINS AS COHEN’S HOPES GO UP IN SMOKE
Comeback man Peter Fitzgerald is setting himself up for a stunning fightback in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship after a second victory at Calder Park today.
Fitzgerald again chased down the Wayne Park Ferrari F355 Challenge to claim victory, passing Park with five laps to go.
Championship leader Jim Richards (Porsche 911 RSCS) took third place ahead of Geoff Morgan and Ed Aitken.
But Class C front-runner Mark Cohen was lucky to escape after his Holden Commodore VS SS erupted into flames at the conclusion of the event.
"I came into pit lane on the cool-down lap and started to smell petrol in the car - next thing I know there were flames everywhere in the car and I bailed out," Cohen said.
"There is damage to the wiring harness and everything is blackened but I won’t really know how bad it is until we get the car home.
"I am hoping it is not too bad and we will be able to get back on track for the next round at Winton.
"I only smelt petrol for a second and then the thing went up - it was pretty scary."
The dual victories for Fitzgerald in the Meguiar’s Top Marques Class A division represent a great return to form for the Melbourne production car expert whose championship hopes looked in tatters after a dramatic crash in round two at Phillip Island earlier this year.
Mark King took his second victory of the day in the Autobarn Class B division aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III.
Championship leader Geoff Full chased the Queenslander hard in his Subaru Impreza WRX but could not bridge the gap after starting off the rear of the grid due to yesterday’s engine dramas.
Bob Hughes and Rod Wilson took third and fourth aboard a pair of Mazda RX7s.
Peter Phelan (Holden Commodore VT SS) held off a strong challenge from Ryan McLeod (Ford Falcon EL XR8) to win Class C and extend his points lead.
The duo swapped places before Phelan finally grabbed the upper hand. Rob Chadwick’s Mitsubishi Magna TH V6 Sports finished third.
Ric Shaw triumphed in a close Class S battle over team-mate Colin Osborne.
Class D points leader Phil Kirkham (Mazda 626) took a stranglehold on the title with another victory. Melinda Price toppled team-mate Sam Newman aboard their Holden Vectra GL 2.2 machines.
Nathan Thomas also made it two wins from two starts in Class E with his Suzuki Swift GTi. With championship rival Kosi Kalaitzidis striking gearbox trouble, Thomas is now set for a late season challenge for the title.
RESULTS RACE TWO - 19 LAPS 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 19:55.217 2. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) - 19:55.790 3. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 19:56.514 4. - Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 20:00.674 Class B - Mark King, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III - down 1 lap Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - down 2 laps 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 2 laps
COMPLETE RESULTS http://www.racetime.com.au/racedata/c9933/r10res.htm
POINTS OUTRIGHT: Richards 138.5 Fitzgerald 121 Beninca 101 Aitken 68 Morgan 67 Park 57 Cartwright 32
CLASS A: Richards 134.5 CLASS B: Full 166.5 CLASS C: Phelan 133 CLASS D: P. Kirkham 120, CLASS E: Kalaitzidis 116 CLASS S: Shaw 154.
Paul Ryan http://www.gtprod.com.au/