CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
EASTERN CREEK RACE ONE 7th JUNE 1998
ITALIANS SPIN, WALDON WINS & FORBES GRINS
Dodge Viper driver Garry Waldon continued his barnstorming assault on the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship with his fourth successive win in race one at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway today.
Waldon charged off the front row of the grid and was never challenged over the 12 lap distance. Behind him however, his Italian opposition struck trouble with an Italian car tangling with an Italian driver.
Neil Crompton (Ferrari F355 Challenge) and Domenic Beninca (Porsche 911 RSCS) spun to the back of the pack after touching on the opening lap.
Beninca began a charge back to fourth place while Crompton battled on despite slight suspension damage which affected the cars handling.
Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche 911 RSCS) led the charge after Waldon but had to fight off GTP newcomer Rodney Forbes who put up a fantastic performance in a similar Porsche for third place.
"Rodney was certainly giving me a very hard time, but I think he may have missed a gear at one stage late in the race which took the pressure off - pressure I could have done without," Fitzgerald said.
Waldon was thrilled with his continued success and quietly confident of repeating the dose in the Dodge Viper race two.
"I made a great start but if the race had gone another couple of laps, I think I may have been in trouble," Waldon said.
"I have to take the maximum result I can at tracks like these because there are a lot of circuits later in the year that will not suit the car."
Chris Smith's Ferrari retired with a couple of laps to go with a split radiator hose while Terry Bosnjak's Mazda RX7 SP struck electrical problems.
Dean Canto (Subaru Impreza WRX) again proved he will be a star of the future with another victory in Class B.
Canto fought a tough battle with veteran Murray Carter (Nissan 200SX) and finally regained the lead with only a couple of laps to go. Peter Boylan (Subaru Impreza WRX) drove well to take third ahead of John Cowley and Chris Kousparis.
Mark Cohen took victory in Class C aboard his Holden Commodore VS SS ahead of class leader David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi).
Queensland Michael Simpson celebrated his first GTP Lights Class D victory in his BMW 323i.
Simpson triumphed over Mazda 626 driver Phil Kirkham, and the other BMW 323i of Luke Searle.
Class leader Ric Shaw failed to start after his Friday crash while team-mate Colin Osborne took fourth place.
Nigel Stones' strong run continued with another Class E victory aboard the Suzuki Swift GTi.
Kosi Kalaitzidis' impressive string of second places continued in the Proton M21 Coupe while Hyundai Excel Sprint driver Darren Best struck differential problems.
RACE ONE 12 LAPS 1. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) 20:11.421 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 20:13.169 3. Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 20:13.342 4. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 20:28.901 5. Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli (A) 20:52.111 6. Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V (A) 21:27.736 7. Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 21:57.463 8. Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX (B) 21:57.779 9. Neil Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) 11 laps 10. Peter Boylan, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 11 laps
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