Canberra: Holden to throw a wild card into competition

THE most powerful roadgoing Holden yet built will throw a wild card into the competition for round four of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship in Canberra this weekend. The 400 horsepower Holden Commodore HSV GTS...

THE most powerful roadgoing Holden yet built will throw a wild card into the competition for round four of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship in Canberra this weekend.

The 400 horsepower Holden Commodore HSV GTS will make its competition debut in the hands of Queensland driver Ross Dillon, who is keen for an Aussie V8 to upset the established order of turbocharged Japanese-built outright contenders, led by runaway series leader Ric Shaw in a Mazda RX-7.

Dillon is cautious about his car¹s potential for a first-up win in the outright and Autobarn High Performance ranks, but there is no doubt the challenging new Canberra street circuit will produce close battles throughout the 37-car field and particularly in the other four classes, where competition has been fierce this season.

In the Hippies Sports Touring class, Wayne Russell (BMW), David Wood (Honda), Colin Osborne (Toyota) and Peter Boylan (Honda) have shared the wins. In Pennzoil V8 Touring, the winners have been Scott Loadsman and James Phillip, with Roland Hill taking a pole position, all in Holden Commodores.

Pennzoil Six-cylinder Touring has seen wins for Daryl Coon (Falcon), David Ratcliff (Camry) and Rob Chadwick (Magna), while Kosi Kalaitzidis (Proton), Nathan Thomas (Suzuki) and Warren Luff (Peugeot) have been victors in the Poolrite Four-cylinder class.

"Competition between the many different makes couldn¹t be closer this season," said Ross Palmer, Chief Executive of championship organiser PROCAR Australia. "Fans are seeing a true comparison test of cars they can buy in any showroom. The GT Production Car Championship has grown strongly this year and I¹m not surprised - it's exciting, affordable and relevant motor racing," he said.

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after Rd 3): Outright, 1 R. Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 75, 2 B. Morcom (Mazda RX-7) 39, 3 B. Hughes (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 35, 4 M. King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 26, 5 G. Kenny (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 24, 6 D. Gilbert (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 22; Autobarn High Perf., R. Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 75; Hippies Sports Touring, W. Russell (BMW 323i) 64; Pennzoil V8 Touring, S. Loadsman (Holden Commodore SS) 58; Pennzoil Six-cyl. Touring, D. Coon (Ford Falcon XR6) 69; Poolrite Four-cyl. Touring, K. Kalaitzidis (Proton Satria GTi) 60.

TIMETABLE: Friday 8.50 am - Practice (20 min.), 4.30 pm - Practice (20 min.). Saturday 8.40 am - Qualifying (20 min.), 1.25 pm - Race 1 (15 min.). Sunday 12.05 pm - Race 1 (20 min.).

-Chris Nixon-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Peter Boylan , Ric Shaw , Wayne Russell , Scott Loadsman , Colin Osborne , David Ratcliff , Roland Hill , Warren Luff , David Wood