GTP BULLETIN ...
GTP BULLETIN #17
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
6th MAY 1998
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD SMITTEN BY VIPER
Hot on the heels of Garry Waldon's stunning race two victory at Oran Park aboard a Dodge Viper, PROCAR Chairman Ross Palmer will race a similar machine in round three of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Phillip Island next weekend.
Palmer has purchased the pace-setting blue V10 8-litre machine from Ray Lintott which headed the pack at last year's Bathurst Showroom Showdown in the hands of rally ace Neal Bates.
The PROCAR Chairman last competed in a GTP event at Bathurst last year, sharing a Ferrari F355 Challenge with V8 Supercar driver Greg Crick. However, he contested several other major international events including the Nurburgring 24-Hours and regularly ran major club events in the USA aboard a BMW 325.
With the Ross Palmer Motorsport team preparing the pace-setting Ferrari and the Ford Falcon XR8 factory media car, the team owner's new machine will be primarily entrusted to the hands of Rod Wilson - the Pirelli tyre representative who handled Cameron McConville's 1996 GTP Championship winning campaign.
"I'm really looking forward to getting aboard the Viper because I think it will be a car I should be well suited to," Palmer said.
"I'm certainly under no illusions that I am going to challenge for outright victory. I am very much an amateur competitor but I think the Viper will be a lot of fun.
"Everyone I've spoken to who has driven the car said it is so well balanced and quite a pleasure to drive.
"The car should be very well suited to Phillip Island because of its power advantage, but I'm sure I will be pretty wide eyed the first time I charge down that front straight get set to peel off into turn one.
"It's straight line speed is quite phenomenal."
With two Vipers now contesting the Championship, the Class A battle has intensified with the American muscle cars doing battle with three Porsche 911 RSCS, a Ferrari F355 Challenge, a Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo, a Maserati Ghibli Cup Twin Turbo, a Lotus Elise Sport 190 and a Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V.
Palmer is looking forward to contesting the remainder the of the Century Batteries GTP Championship as well as possibly teaming up with his son Darren for the endurance races at the end of the year.
Darren Palmer is currently contesting the open-wheel Formula Mazda Championship in the US and has made a barnstorming start - winning the opening round from the rear of the grid and finishing second in round two.
"I may throw a bit of a challenge to Darren that if he does win the Formula Mazda Championship he can join me in the Viper at Bathurst," Palmer said.
"He drove pretty well on the Mountain last year in a WRX with Damien White and I am sure the Viper will give him some added incentive for Formula Mazda.
"The Viper was pretty unlucky there last year with Neal Bates striking problems. I wasn't overly upset because that made life easier for John Bowe and Garry Waldon to win in my Ferrari.
"This year however, I will certainly be hoping the Dodge can go the distance."
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