TWO Japanese high-performance cars that have dominated the World Rally Championship will take their battle to the racing circuit for the opening round of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship in Western Australia on Sunday week.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V, which won three pre-season races last month, will face strong new opposition at Barbagallo Raceway, near Perth, from Subaru's potent Impreza WRX STi.

The STi version of one of Australia's most popular high-performance road cars was approved to compete in the championship only last week.

Already, three of the 280 horsepower four-wheel-drive sedans are entered against four examples of the Evo V, which has near-identical specifications. In rally form, Briton Richard Burns and four-time world champion Tommi Makkinen of Finland have driven the STi and Evo 5 respectively to numerous international victories.

The showroom-stock Mitsubishi and Subaru and the rotary-powered Mazda RX7 coupe all will be outright contenders for the first time in Western Australia, following a decision to move the previously dominant ultra-high performance cars into a separate new series, the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup.

The first championship round will be shown on Network Ten's Trackside program on March 26.


The first Lamborghini to enter a major Australian motor racing championship has arrived from Europe.

The Lamborghini Diablo SVR (Racing) will be entered by Team Lamborghini Australia in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup, which starts in Adelaide on April 9.

Formerly a competitor in the pan-European Lamborghini Supersport Challenge, the V12-engined coupe will be driven by open-wheeler specialist Paul Stokell, who is stepping up from a diminutive four-cylinder Lotus Elise.

The Lamborghini and around 25 Porsches, Ferraris, Chev Corvettes, Ford Mustangs and other ultra-high performance models are expected to compete for the GTP Nations Cup.

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY: Century Batteries, Meguiars Killer Shine, Autobarn, Pennzoil-Quaker State, Poolrite, Hippies