TWO-time champion Jim Richards completed a dominant debut for his new Porsche 911 GT3 with a comfortable win in the Century Batteries GTP 1-Hour Showroom Shootout today at Phillip Island, Victoria. The win by 11.6 seconds over Wayne Park's ...
TWO-time champion Jim Richards completed a dominant debut for his new Porsche 911 GT3 with a comfortable win in the Century Batteries GTP 1-Hour Showroom Shootout today at Phillip Island, Victoria.
The win by 11.6 seconds over Wayne Park's Ferrari F360 was Richards' third of the weekend, after two 12-lap events yesterday, and proved the potential of the Porsche for the new GTP Nation's Cup series starting in April.
Tyre wear was the critical factor during the race and even a compulsory pit stop was unable to help the Ferrari close the gap on Richards, who also won the Meguiars Top Marques Nation's Cup class.
The $350,000 Ferrari, delivered from Italy only two weeks ago, had no spare wheels to fit during the stop.
"We still had to go through with the compulsory stop, but with no spare available all I could do was delay the stop as long as possible and hope they held up. In the end the car was sliding all over the place and I had to let Jim go," Park said.
Third-placed Mark Williamson, also driving a new Porsche, drove cautiously to complete the race without a tyre change or extra fuel.
While leading runners Murray Carter (Chevrolet Corvette C5) and Olympian Grant Kenny (Subaru Impreza WRX) dropped out with engine problems, one of the drives of the day came from GTP debutant Allan Marrin, in a Holden Commodore VT SS.
Marrin started from last grid position after missing yesterday's races and changing an engine overnight, yet worked his way up to 13th in the 24-car field and first in the Pennzoil V8Touring class.
In theAutobarn High Performance class, Bob Hughes wrapped up three wins for the weekend in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 5, a performance matched in the Pennzoil Six-cylinder Touring class by Calvin Gardiner in a Mazda 626.
In the Hippies Sports Touring class, David Wood recorded a first-out win for one of this season's new GT Production cars, his 1.8 litre Honda Integra Type R finishing ahead of three V8 cars.
David Russell,driving a Suzuki Swift GTi, took his second win of the weekend in the Poolrite Four-cylinder Touring class.
RESULTS - Century Batteries GTP 1-Hour Showroom Shootout
Outright Class 1. Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3) 2. Wayne Park (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 3. Mark Williamson (Porsche 911 GT3) 4. Bryan Thomson (Toyota Supra RZ) 5. Bob Hughes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5)
Meguiars Nation's Cup: Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3) Autobarn High Perf.: Bob Hughes (M'bishi Lancer Evo V Hippies Sports Touring: David Wood (Honda Integra Type R) Pennzoil V8 Touring: Allan Marrin (Holden C'dore SS) Pennzoil Six-cyl. Touring: Calvin Gardiner (Mazda 626) Poolrite Four-cylinder Touring: David Russell (Suzuki Swift)