CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
MALLALA PREVIEW 13th JULY 1998
BENINCA BANKING ON PORSCHE BRAKING
Porsche 911 RSCS driver Domenic Beninca is hoping the renowned braking ability of the German marque will bring him back into contention for title honours in round six of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia next weekend.
Acknowledged as the hardest circuit in Australia on brakes, Mallala will provide a tough challenge for championship leader Garry Waldon in the Dodge Viper GTS and Beninca is hoping this ace up his sleeve could help shorten the ten point gap in the championship.
”I really have to perform otherwise Garry will get too far away in the point tally,” Beninca said.
”With the braking performance of the Porsche, I really think we should be able to do something at Mallala but I still believe Garry will surprise everybody with how quick his car will be.
”If he gets off the start well, it is very hard to get past, particularly at Mallala because there are probably only two real passing opportunities. ”He will be hard to beat but the job has to be done here and at Winton, otherwise we have no chance to win the title.”
Fellow Porsche runners Peter Fitzgerald and Rodney Forbes also will be keen to improve at Mallala while Terry Bosnjak’s Mazda RX7 could be one to watch.
Neil Crompton returns to the seat of the Ferrari F355 Challenge with John Bowe committed to the V8 Supercar race at Hidden Valley in Darwin.
Crompton proved fiercely competitive at his last outing at Eastern Creek and with Bowe tasting success at Lakeside, ”Cromley” should also feature in the podium battle.
Paul Stokell’s Lotus Elise Sport 190 returns to the track after missing the last round of the Championship following his Eastern Creek qualifying crash while Alfredo Costanzo’s Maserati Ghibli Twin Turbo also returns after a Lakeside crash.
Local Adelaide driver Ross Almond is keen to bounce back after engine failure eliminated him from proceedings at Lakeside while his new team-mate, Ross Halliday will make his GTP debut on home soil, also armed with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V.
”The Lancer should be pretty well suited to Mallala, but we are a bit behind the eight-ball in finishing the new car and getting the engine back together in my car,” Almond said.
”If the weather becomes wet however, I am still confident we could do pretty well.”
The on-going Class B battle will continue at Mallala with class leader Murray Carter (Nissan 200SX Turbo) trying to hold out the Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo trio of Chris Kousparis, Dean Canto and Peter Boylan.
Ron Barnacle returns to the GTP action, driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III he is sharing with John Trimbole.
More home-town heroes out for success will be Class C runners Rob Chadwick and Jim Myhill each aboard a Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports.
David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) and Mark Cohen (Holden Commodore VS SS) have headed the class fight throughout 1998, but Chadwick will be out to repeat his debut win at Mallala last year.
GTP Lights Class D’s ”Mr Consistency” Phil Kirkham is sitting in second place on the points table despite failing to take a race win in 1998. The Mazda 626 of Kirkham should be well suited to Mallala and he will face a trio of Toyota MR2s driven by class leader Ric Shaw, Colin Osborne and Clayton Haynes.
Nigel Stones and Aaron McGill’s fight will continue their Suzuki Swift GTi mounted fight in Class E
McGill was unlucky not get to victory lane at Lakeside and will be keen to turn the tables on the Stones who holds a handy lead in the championship.
Darren Best’s Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam returns to the track after missing the last round at Lakeside
ENTRIES CLASS A 1 Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 3 Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli Twin Turbo 5 Garry Waldon Dodge, Viper GTS 12 Terry Bosnjak, Mazda RX7 SP Twin Turbo 17 Ross Halliday, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V 26 Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V 27 Neil Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge 41 Craig Dean, Toyota Soarer Turbo Coupe 50 Paul Stokell, Lotus Elise Sport 190 52 Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 85 Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS
CLASS B 6 Chris Kousparis, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 7 Peter Boylan, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 18 Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX Turbo 25 Richard Davis, HSV GTS-R 215i 44 Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 47 Ron Barnacle, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo III
CLASS C 20 Robert Chadwick, Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports V6 21 Jim Myhill, Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports V6 28 Bob Jennings, Ford Falcon EL XR8 55 Mark Cohen, Holden Commodore VS SS V8 88 David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi V6
CLASS D 4 Clayton Haynes, Toyota MR2 GT 13 Colin Osborne, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 35 Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 71 Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626
CLASS E 42 Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift GTi 75 Aaron McGill, Suzuki Swift GTi 78 Darren Best, Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam
POINTS OUTRIGHT Garry Waldon 123 Domenic Beninca 113 Peter Fitzgerald 106 John Bowe 73 Rodney Forbes 42 Ross Almond 33 Neil Crompton 29 Alfredo Costanzo 28 Paul Stokell 22 Murray Carter 18 Terry Bosnjak 12 Dean Canto 11 Peter McKay 10 Chris Smith 10 Chris Kousparis 9 John Bourke 8 Bob Thorn 5 John Trimbole 5 Peter Boylan 5 Craig Dean 4 Michael Simpson 2 John Cowley 1 Marcus Marshall 1
CLASS A Garry Waldon 121 Domenic Beninca 111 Peter Fitzgerald 105 John Bowe 69 Rodney Forbes 42 Ross Almond 33 Alfredo Costanzo 31 Neil Crompton 30 Paul Stokell 22 Craig Dean 13 Bob Thorn 12 Terry Bosnjak 12 Peter McKay 10 Chris Smith 10 John Bourke 8 Marcus Marshall 1
CLASS B Murray Carter 124 Chris Kousparis 94 Dean Canto 89 Peter Boylan 71 John Cowley 47 John Trimbole 44 Richard Davis 24 Trevor Haines 8
CLASS C David Ratcliff 115 Mark Cohen 110 Robert Chadwick 76 Steve Knight 40 Jim Myhill 30 John Wright 22 Guy Andrews 18 Paula Elstrek 16 Paul Gover 15 Joshua Dowling 12
CLASS D Ric Shaw 114 Phil Kirkham 92 Michael Simpson 88 Colin Osborne 82 Luke Searle 78 Carol Jackson 29 Clayton Haynes 27 Allan Letcher 23 Peter Phelan 12
CLASS E Nigel Stones 144 Aaron McGill 103 Danny Brian 68 Kosi Kalaitzidis 65 Jim Myhill 22 Clayton Haynes 18 Darren Best 14 Nigel WIlliams 10
LAST TIME AROUND - ROUND SIX, AUGUST 24, 1997 RACE ONE 18 LAPS 1. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:36.614 2. John Bowe, Ferrari F355 Challenge(A) 22:40.082 3. Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:43.035 4. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 22:44.828 5. Max Dunn, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 23.12.927 6. Gerhard Hassler, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 23.13.883 7. Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III (A) 17 laps 8. Alf Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli (A) 17 laps 9. Chris Kousparis, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo (B) 17 laps 10. Andrej Pavicevic, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo (B) 17 laps
RACE TWO 18 LAPS 1. John Bowe, Ferarri F355 Challenge (A) 26:13.349 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 26:13.912 3. Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 26:23.930 4. Kevin Weeks, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 26:26.126 5. Gerhard Hassler, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 26:58.749 6. Max Dunn, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 27:15.846 7. Alf Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli (A) 17 laps 8. Andrej Pavicevic, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo (B) 17 laps 9. Chris Kousparis, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo (B) 17 laps 10. Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III (A) 17 laps