CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP EASTERN CREEK QUALIFYING 26th MARCH 1999 PORSCHE PAIR SHARE GTP TOP GUN HONOURS Peter Fitzgerald and Domenic Beninca again showed why they have won the past two Century Batteries...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
EASTERN CREEK QUALIFYING 26th MARCH 1999
PORSCHE PAIR SHARE GTP TOP GUN HONOURS
Peter Fitzgerald and Domenic Beninca again showed why they have won the past two Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship by grabbing a pole position each for tomorrow's two opening races of the 1999 Championship season.
Fitzgerald pulled out a "perfect lap" to set the fastest time of the day in the first qualifying session, stopping the clocks at 1:39.054.
Beninca fought back in qualifying for tomorrow's second race while Jim Richards' Porsche 911 RSCS and Terry Bosnjak's Mazda RX7-SP also swapped positions for third and fourth.
Fitzgerald is confident of a strong result tomorrow after making improvements to his machine in the off-season.
"I pulled out an absolute blinder for pole for the opening race – just a perfect lap," Fitzgerald said.
"We have improved the roll cage in the car and it responds much better to changes. Our tyre package is also working well and I am pretty delighted to head the pack for the opening race.
"Dom pegged us back in the second session but tomorrow is going to be a heck of a fight,"
Ed Aitken and Geoff Morgan were fifth and sixth in both sessions while Darren Palmer (Ferrari F355 Challenge), Perry Spiridis (Maserati Ghibli), Damien White (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V) and Beric Lynton (BMW M3-R) completed the top ten in both sessions.
Former Super Touring drivers Geoff Full and Dwanye Bewley headed Class B – both armed with Subaru Impreza WRXs.
Full set the fastest time ahead of Bewley in both sessions while Paula Elstrek's Class B Mazda RX7 was third fastest in the second session.
David Ratcliff's Class C championship winning form continued by taking pole for both races aboard his Toyota Camry Touring.
Holden Commodores were second fastest in both sessions with Peter Phelan's VT model taking second in the opening qualifying session and local driver Mark Cohen pushing his VS Commodore to second in the final session.
Clayton Haynes earned his first GTP class pole by being fastest in Class S in the opening session while Wayne Russell's BMW 323i also showed he will be hard to beat by grabbing pole in race two.
Megan Kirkham continued as the sole driver in the GTP Lights Class D division with husband, Phil aboard their team's Class S Mazda MX-5.
Nathan Thomas was again the man to catch in Class E aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi. Paul Buda and Sue Hughes were second and third in both sessions – also armed with Suzuki Swift GTis.
RESULTS QUALIFYING ONE 1. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:39.054 2. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:40.084 3. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:40.430 4. Terry Bosnjak, Mazda RX7 SP (A) 1:41.139 Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:47.062 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry Touring 1:52.168 Class D Megan Kirkham, Mazda 626 2:10.596 Class E Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:55.430 Class S Clayton Haynes, Toyota MR2 GT 1:51.907
QUALIFYING TWO 1. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:39.810 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:40.017 3. Terry Bosnjak, Mazda RX7 SP (A) 1:40.226 4. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:40.919 Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:47.641 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry Touring 1:52.825 Class D Megan Kirkham, Mazda 626 2:07.765 Class E Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:54.216 Class S Wayne Russell, BMW 323i 1:52.207