YOUNG Ferrari ace Mark Noske blitzed the field to win the first leg of the Grand Touring Challenge on the Adelaide grand prix street circuit today.
Starting from pole position in his Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge, Noske crossed the line more than a minute ahead of the second finisher, convincingly beating the bogey that had kept him off the winner's podium since last April.
Porsche GT3 driver Greg Keene came second in the 40-minute event, ahead of Noske's Prancing Horse team partner Rod Wilson, driving another of the $350,000 Ferrari coupes.
The win put Noske, 26, on pole position for tomorrow's 12-lap second leg of the Grand Touring Challenge.
"I've always loved the Adelaide circuit and it's great to be able to repeat the success that we had here in April," Noske said. "After the fun I had out there today, I'm really looking forward to getting back on the track tomorrow."
Second was the best result of Greg Keene's year in the Nations Cup category for exotic sports cars, but the Adelaide knee surgeon is determined to go one better in the second-leg race.
"Being a shorter distance and without having to go through today's compulsory pit stop, I can afford to really go for it tomorrow and take the fight to the Ferraris," he said.
Australian GT Production Car Champion Mark King was the giant-killer among the competitors, finishing an outstanding sixth outright and first in the High Performance class in his Mitsubishi Lancer turbo sedan, ahead of several faster and more expensive sports cars from Porsche, Chevrolet and Mazda. Steve Coad won the Sports Touring class in a close battle with Peter McKay, both driving Honda Integra coupes. <pre> RESULTS (Race 1): Outright 1. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge 2. Greg Keene (Porsche GT3) 3. Rod Wilson (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 4. Michael Downard (Porsche GT3) 5. Rusty French (Dodge Viper ACR) 6. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) High Performance Class Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) Sports Touring Class Steve Coad (Honda Integra Type R)
TIMETABLE: Sunday 2.20 pm - Race 2# (12 laps).