Newcomer surprise fastest in Adelaide

(Fri.) 6 April 2001 / Practice, Round 1 - Adelaide TIN-TOP tyro Philip Polites stole a march on established stars in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship by setting a surprise fastest time in official practice in ...

(Fri.) 6 April 2001 / Practice, Round 1 - Adelaide

TIN-TOP tyro Philip Polites stole a march on established stars in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship by setting a surprise fastest time in official practice in Adelaide today for the first 2001 round.

Polites, from Melbourne, put his brand new Holden Commodore GTS around the 3.2 km city street circuit in 1 minute 40.06 seconds, more than 1.1 sec. ahead of nearest contender Peter Floyd, in an identical car.

Less than 0.8 sec. separated the seven fastest cars behind Polites.

Polites said he had not raced a touring car before - but admitted plenty of competition experience as the 1993 British Formula Ford champion.

"We've only done a couple of days' testing in the Commodore and we weren't sure how we'd go. To be in provisional pole position is very encouraging, but there's still a long way to go this weekend," Polites said.

The speed of the V8 Commodore - Australia's most powerful road car - left the smaller Subarus, Mitsubishis, Mazdas and Nissans chasing improvements before tomorrow's qualifying and first-leg race.

"We thought we'd go okay, but we didn't have any answers for those Commodores today," said defending 2000 season champion Mark King, who claimed fifth spot with his all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer.

"We were rubbing their bumpers in the corners, but they just disappeared on the straights," King said. <pre> PRACTICE RESULTS:

Outright                                 Lap time (min., sec.)
1.  Philip Polites (Holden Commodore HSV GTS)   1:40.06
2.  Peter Floyd (Holden Commodore HSV GTS)      1:41.19
3.  Peter Gazzard (Subaru Impreza WRX STi)      1:41.41
4.  Barry Morcom (Holden Commodore HSV GTS      1:41.65
5.  Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V)      1:41.69
6.  Phil Kirkham (Mazda RX-7)                   1:41.84

Class Poolrite High Performance: Philip Polites (Holden Commodore HSV GTS) 1:41.06 Hippies Sports Touring: Nathan Thomas (Honda Integra Type R) 1:44.77

WEEKEND TIMETABLE: Saturday - 9.25 am (Qualifying, 20 min.), 5 pm (Race 1#, 12 laps). Sunday - 9.45 am (Race 2#, 12 laps).

-AUSGPT-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Peter Floyd , Mark King , Phil Kirkham , Peter Gazzard , Barry Morcom
Teams Nissan Motorsports