CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
ORAN PARK PRACTICE 3rd SEPTEMBER 1999
RALLY ACES AIMING FOR STRONG ORAN PARK RESULT
Former rally stars Rod Salmon and Graham Alexander could be set for a season best result for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V after strong performances in practice today at Sydney¹s Oran Park Raceway.
The pair have displayed steady improvement throughout the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship season and Salmon is particularly keen to finish the year with a strong finish on home soil. Salmon was seventh and eighth fastest in the two sessions today.
"We tested here last week and the car feels quite good," Salmon said.
"I¹ve ended up with three sixth place finishes this year and I¹d love to go one better this weekend.
"The change to circuit racing this year has been a lot of fun and I think the car control skills learned from rallying has proven to be very handy."
The Geelong based Alexander believes he has beaten his early season engine dilemmas and is looking to further improve the handling of his machine.
Alexander was 12th fastest in both sessions.
"These cars are nice to drive at 9/10ths but tend to understeer when you push really hard," Alexander said.
"Being four-wheel-drive, you also tend to have to use slightly different lines through the turns at many tracks."
Porsche 911 RSCS driver Peter Fitzgerald set the fastest time of the day in the afternoon session, stopping the clocks at 1:13.813.
Wayne Park¹s Ferrari F355 Challenge was fastest in the morning session ahead of Fitzgerald and Meguiar¹s Top Marques points leader, Jim Richards.
V8 Supercar team owner Terry Finnigan will also make his GTP debut this weekend aboard the BMW M3R that Ken Matthews was scheduled to drive.
Newly crowned Autobarn Class B champion Geoff Full was fastest in both sessions after missing the last round of the championship. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III) and Paula Elstrek (Mazda RX7) headed the chase.
Class C champion Peter Phelan (Holden Commodore VT SS) continued his strong pace ahead of last year¹s title holder David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) in the first session and newcomer Darryl Coon (Ford Falcon XR6) in the afternoon.
Ric Shaw¹s title winning Class S form continued, despite renewed pressure from BMW 323i driver, Michael Simpson.
Class D champ Phil Kirkham set the pace aboard his Mazda 626 while Melinda Price and Sam Newman followed suit in the two-car Holden Vectra 2.2 GL team.
Nathan Thomas (Suzuki Swift GTi) set the pace in Class E in the morning session while local Sydney ace Warren Luff topped the timesheets aboard the Peugeot 306 Style in the afternoon.
SESSION ONE 1. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge - 1:14.391 2. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:15.238 3. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:15.479 4. - Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:15.677 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:19.346 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:22.858 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:24.297 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:24.318 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:22.259
COMPLETE RESULTS http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?05/09/1999.ORAN.P4
SESSION TWO 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:13.813 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:14.178 3. - Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:14.760 4. - Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS - 1:14.896 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:19.503 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:22.721 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:24.613 Class E - Warren Luff, Peugeot 306 Style - 1:24.857 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 - 1:22.473
Paul Ryan, email@example.com