CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
MALLALA RACE TWO 19th JULY 1998
ROOKIE ROCKET RODNEY GRABS FIRST GTP WIN
GTP rookie "Rocket" Rodney Forbes broke through for his first victory in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Mallala Motorsport Park in SA today.
After leading the Friday practice times and setting his first GTP pole position yesterday, the young Sydney racer lead from start to finish in race two to hold out fellow Porsche 911 RSCS racers Peter Fitzgerald and race one winner Domenic Beninca.
Forbes started alone on the front row of the grid after race one leader Neil Crompton was forced out in the Ferrari F355 Challenge with a broken front ball joint.
"It certainly wasn't easy from where I was sitting but I am absolutely stoked with the win," Forbes said.
"I learnt from the first race to conserve the tyres and I was able to run faster than the guys behind me throughout the race.
"All the crew will be wrapped with this and winners and grinners!"
Forbes victory was put in jeopardy with a lap to go when he was delayed while lapping Colin Osborne's Toyota MR2 Bathurst.
"I was able to open a bit of a gap towards the end but I was held up pretty badly," Forbes said.
"Fitzgerald really piled on the pressure at the end but I was able to hold him off."
Terry Bosnjak (Mazda RX7 SP) took fourth ahead of Paul Stokell (Lotus Elise Sport 190) and Ross Halliday (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V).
Chris Kousparis (Subaru Impreza WRX) made it two wins from two starts to close the points gap to Class B championship leader, Murray Carter (Nissan 200SX).
Fellow Sydney driver Dean Canto (Subaru Impreza WRX) took second place ahead of Carter and Peter Boylan (Subaru Impreza WRX). David Ratcliff confirmed his Class C championship lead with two strong victories aboard the Toyota Camry CSi.
Peter McKay took second place in the Ford Falcon XR8 while Rob Chadwick ran strongly before suffering a late race spin in the Mitsubishi Magna TE Sport.
Phil Kirkham took his second GTP Lights Class D victory but the Mazda 626 driver had to fight hard to reach the chequered flag this time around.
Ric Shaw (Toyota MR2 Bathurst) held the early class lead until Kirkham found a way past after ten laps.
Nigel Stones moved a step closer to the Class E championship with another strong victory aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi.
Stones has been the most dominant driver in any class of the 1998 championship and this time he again accounted for Aaron McGill's Suzuki and Darren Best's Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam.
RESULTS RACE TWO 18 LAPS 1. Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:28.797 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:29.030 3. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:29.705 4. Terry Bosnjak, Mazda RX7 SP (A) 22:54.499 5. Paul Stokell, Lotus Elise Sport 190 (A) 22:59.128 6. Ross Halliday, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V (A) 23:14.211 7. Chris Kousparis, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 17 laps 8. Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 17 laps 9. Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX (B) 17 laps 10. Peter Boylan, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 17 laps
POINTS OUTRIGHT: Beninca 139, Fitzgerald 130, Waldon 123, Bowe 73, Forbes 68, Stokell 34, Almond 33.
CLASS A: Beninca 136, CLASS B: Carter 146, CLASS C: Ratcliff 145, CLASS D: Shaw 138, CLASS E: Stones 174.
FURTHER NEWS: http://www.gtprod.com.au