TWO Japanese turbo all-wheel drive sedans emerged at the top the timesheets after a challenging first day of practice for round four of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship on Canberra's new street circuit today.
Queenslander Mark King was fastest in a Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V, with Trevor Haines from Melbourne alongside on the provisional grid front row in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
Bob Hughes was third-fastest in another Mitsubishi, with championship leader Ric Shaw's Mazda RX-7 the first two-wheel drive car in fourth spot.
Haines' performance was his best since he debuted the Subaru at the beginning of the 2000 season and he said he was delighted to reward new sponsor Yamaha at their first race meeting.
King, who broke Shaw's recent domination with a win in the previous round at Eastern Creek, said his time came from experimenting with soft-compound Michelin tyres intended to overcome cold track temperatures.
In the Poolrite Four-cylinder Touring class, Nathan Thomas' Suzuki Swift GTi was not only the smallest entry but also the fastest, with a time of 2:11.59. <pre> RESULTS: Outright 1. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 2:01.21 2. Trevor Haines (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 2:02.08 3. Bob Hughes (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 2:02.54 4. Ric Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 2:02.55 5. Scott Jacob (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 2:03.42 6. Gary Deane (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 2:03.59 Class Autobarn High Perf.: Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 2:01.21 Hippies Sports Touring: David Wood (Honda Integra Type R) 2:07.13 Pennzoil V8 Touring: James Philip (Ford Falcon XR8) 2:08.69 Pennzoil Six-cyl. Touring: Daryl Coon (Ford Falcon XR6) 2:11.21 Poolrite Four-cyl. Touring: Nathan Thomas (Suzuki Swift GTi) 2:11.59
TIMETABLE: Saturday 8.40 am - Qualifying (20 min.), 1.25 pm - Race 1 (15 min.). Sunday 12.05 pm - Race 2 (20 min.).