CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
EASTERN CREEK PRACTICE 5TH JUNE 1998
BOSNJAK BACK AS SHAW OUTED IN CRASH
Two years after walking away from a death defying crash at Amaroo Park, production car ace Terry Bosnjak successfully returned to GTP action at Eastern Creek in Sydney today for round four of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.
While Bosnjak's Mazda RX7 SP proved to be on the pace for today's opening practice session, Class D Championship leader Ric Shaw was forced out of the event after a heavy crash in the afternoon practice session.
Charging through turn one – the fastest part of the cirucit – Shaw spun his Toyota MR2 Bathurst into the inside wall, suffering heavy damage.
The battered Sydney driver however, was lucky to escape without major injury.
Reigning champion Peter Fitzgerald set the pace in both sessions aboard his Porsche 911 RSCS with fellow Porsche runner Domenic Beninca second fastest.
Neil Crompton was third aboard his Ferrari F355 Challenge while Bosnjak, Alfredo Costanzo (Maserati Ghibli) and Garry Waldon (Dodge Viper GTS) battled for the minor placings.
"We were a fair bit down on power compared to our recent testing, but we think we have discovered the problem," Bosnjak said.
"When we get on to new tyres tomorrow, I am pretty confident the car will be very competitive.
"I am still unsure how close we will be, but I really looking forward to getting out there and having a go."
Chris Smith performed strongly in his debut aboard the ex-Ross Palmer/Greg Crick Ferrari F355 Challenge, finishing eight fastest in the morning session and ninth in the afternoon.
Class B leader Murray Carter headed the timesheet aboard his Nissan 200SX ahead of the Subaru Impreza WRX of Dean Canto. Chris Kousparis (Subaru) traded times with John Cowley (HSV GTS-R) for third fastest.
Female racer Paula Elstrek (Ford Falcon XR8) improved three seconds during the day to finish second fastest in Class C behind Mark Cohen's Commodore VS SS.
With Ric Shaw's demise, BMW drivers Michael Simpson and Luke Searle dominated the GTP Lights Class D action.
Simpson was actually faster than Shaw in the opening session, while Searle topped the timesheet in the afternoon run when the Shaw crash occurred.
Nigel Stones (Suzuki Swift GTi) stamped his mark on Class E, dominating both sessions. Darren Best (Hyundai Excel Sprint) was second fastest in the morning session while Aaron McGill's Suzuki Swift GTi was second in the afternoon.
RESULTS SESSION ONE 1. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:40.354 2. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:40.894 3. Neil Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge 1:41.398 4. Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli 1:41.458 Class B Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX 1:49.396 Class C Mark Cohen, Holden Commodore VS SS 1:54.065 Class D Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 1:52.637 Class E Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:55.392
SESSION TWO 1. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:38.814 2. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:39.597 3. Neil Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge 1:40.146 4. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS 1:40.301 Class B Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX 1:48.510 Class C Mark Cohen, Holden Commodore VS SS 1:53.356 Class D Luke Searle, BMW 323i 1:51.793 Class E Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:54.581