AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR RACING
INDY PREVIEW 12th OCTOBER 1999
IRON MEN TACKLE THE STREETS OF SURFERS
Queensland Iron Man heroes Guy Andrews and Grant Kenny will do battle this weekend at the Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast,when the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car race features as a highlight of the four day event.
Andrews will be racing at Indy for the first time this week after making his GTP debut last year at Bathurst in the 3-Hour Showroom Showdown.
He is racing a Ford Falcon XR6 in Class C at Indy and will then team up with V8 Supercar driver Tony Longhurst at Bathurst in November. Longhurst has been instrumental in arranging the drive for Andrews and has nothing but praise for his ability.
"He has only been on the race track once this year, but after one session he was completely comfortable. I guess anyone who is a natural athlete like Guy will have a automatic ability to race competitively - all he really needs to do is to fine tune his skills on race day," Longhurst said.
"Guy was a bit unlucky at Bathurst last year when he was racing with Sam Newman. Sam started the race but didn’t make it to the first pit stop so Guy missed out on a drive."
After completing the Bathurst event, a race fan will win the Andrews/Longhurst car in a major promotion organised by Century Batteries through Autobarn stores.
Andrews will be racing against fellow Iron Man Grant Kenny, who will be racing in a two-car Subaru Impreza WRX team in Class B with local Gold Coast businessman, Scott Jacob.
While the duo shared a car at last year’s Indy, Kenny and Jacobs are running two cars to double their chances for Class B success and also maximise the development of the Subarus in the lead up to the 3-Hour Showroom Showdown at Bathurst on November 13.
Another first for GTP is Peter Boylan’s Indy debut aboard the Holden Commodore HSV GTS-R of Honda Indy 300 Chairman, John Cowley.
"John asked me to race his car at Indy because of his own commitments at the event. I’m very honoured to be asked to race the HSV and I’m sure that with the Indy Chairman behind me, I’ll have a strong cheer squad on race day," Boylan said.
"It will be a real change for me to be hopping into a two wheel drive car (from the 4WD Subaru) and also debuting at a new track. I’m not at all phased by Indy, I really love the street circuits and have a fantastic team behind me."
In the Meguiar’s Top Marques Class A division, Wayne Park will also be running at Indy for the first time aboard the Ferrari F355 Challenge, and is looking forward to tackling the street circuit aboard the Italian Stallion.
"The street carnival atmosphere of Indy is always great. The crowd is close and noisy and that can really get you going before a race," Park said.
Park joins Peter Fitzgerald and Jim Richards as a major contender at Indy. All three race drivers will be at the front of the GTP pack on race day and Park says that the winner on the day will be the team that makes an early break and has everything go according to plan.
"My only issue at Indy will be the brakes on the Ferrari. They’re electronically controlled and when you’re required to stomp on the brakes at the end of the long straights sometimes they play up a bit," Park said.
"We’ll have a power advantage at Indy, the Ferrari likes the long straights but we’ll also have to watch out for Jim (Richards) who likes to overtake under brakes on the outside of the corners. Qualifying will play a huge role and if we’re in front at the start of the race, I think that will be half the battle won.".
Local Gold Coaster Beric Lynton will also be one to watch aboard his BMW M3R. The local BMW dealer starred last year aboard a Class S BMW 323i and is eagerly awaiting the chance to do battle on home soil aboard a Class A car.
Adelaide driver Ross Almond has entered Trevor John to race his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V at the Queensland event. Almond’s team, a regular performer in the series last year, returns to GTP this weekend but he will let his Bathurst co-driver tackle the team’s first laps for the year.
Paul Ryan http://www.gtprod.com.au/ email@example.com