CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
LAKESIDE QUALIFYING 27th MAY 1998
BOWE'S FERRARI FLIES WITH VIPER IN CHASE
After missing the past two GTP races, Ferrari star John Bowe set a stunning pace in qualifying to grab both pole positions for tomorrow's fifth round of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Lakeside in Queensland.
Bowe stamped his authority on the Lakeside circuit by stopping the clocks at 54.695 seconds in the opening session and then improved in the afternoon to finish at 54.442.
Championship leader Garry Waldon also improved 2/10ths of a second during the day to join Bowe on the front row for the second race with a trio of Porsche 911 RSCS machines behind them.
A previous winner aboard the Ferrari at Lakeside, Bowe is confident of putting the Italian Stallion in the winner's circle tomorrow.
"Those laps were the best I could do, and luckily they were quick enough for pole," Bowe said.
"Putting new tyres on the car today really didn't seem to make a great deal of difference but race day tomorrow is still going to be tough.
"The Viper is obviously very quick and Garry is going to be keen to stretch his championship lead.
"The Porsche guys also are always on the pace on race day because the cars are a bit easier on the tyres."
Terry Bosnjak impressed aboard the Mazda RX7 to qualify fifth and sixth fastest in the two sessions.
Ross Almond's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V also showed great pace until sidelined with engine problems in the second session.
"The engine was still making good power, but the smoke pouring out the back of the car suggests we may have broken rings or pistons," Almond said.
Dean Canto's impressive Class B run continued with the rookie taking pole position for both races in his Subaru Impreza WRX.
Murray Carter's Nissan 200SX was second fastest ahead of Chris Kousparis who performed strongly in his Subaru Impreza WRX. David Ratcliff set the pace in Class C, claiming pole position with his championship leading Toyota Camry.
Mark Cohen's Holden Commodore VS SS was second fastest ahead of Rob Chadwick's Mitsubishi Magna TE Sport and Iron Man Guy Andrews aboard the Ford Falcon XR8.
Michael Simpson's Lakeside pace continued to climb aboard the BMW 323i in Class D – setting pole position for both races.
Simpson toppled the Toyota MR2 Bathurst pair of Ric Shaw and Colin Osborne and the Mazda 626 of Phil Kirkham. Clayton Haynes' Toyota MR2 has endured a trouble filled meeting, suffering a broken windscreen, hole in a radiator and a flat tyre.
Nigel Stones and Aaron McGill traded times in Class E with their Suzuki Swift GTis – each taking a pole position for tomorrow.
QUALIFYING RACE ONE 1. John Bowe, Ferrari F355 Challenge 54.695 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 55.019 3. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS 55.168 4. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 55.621 Class B Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX 59.770 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi 61.615 Class D Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 60.922 Class E Aaron McGill, Suzuki Swift GTi 63.725
RACE TWO 1. John Bowe, Ferrari F355 Challenge 54.442 2. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS 54.917 3. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 55.192 4. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 55.388 Class B Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX 59.685 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi 61.861 Class D Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 60.653 Class E Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift GTi 63.567