ORAN PARK QUALIFYING 29th AUGUST 1998
BENINCA BOOSTS HIS CHAMPIONSHIP CHANCES
Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship leader Domenic Beninca has stretched his championship lead with dominant performances in qualifying at the final round at Oran Park today.
Beninca set the fastest time in the opening session aboard his Porsche 911 RSCS with Ferrari F355 Challenge driver John Bowe alongside him on the front row.
The Melbourne driver repeated the dose in the afternoon session to earn his second pole position bonus point - boosting his championship lead to five points.
Reigning champion and 1998 series rival Peter Fitzgerald will start directly behind Beninca in both races in third position.
"We worked very hard to improve the car overnight and the results show we obviously went in the right direction," Beninca said.
"It has been a perfect result so far, but we still have to do the job tomorrow.
"Fitzy is not about to give up without a fight but I am very confident we have the tyre package to do the job."
Fitzgerald can still win the championship by winning tomorrow's two races, even if Beninca finishes right on his tail.
"Anything can happen tomorrow and we have no choice but to go out there and race for the win."
Porsche 911 RSCS driver Rodney Forbes was fourth fastest in both sessions ahead of Paul Stokell's Lotus Elise Sport 190. Bob Thorn's Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo took sixth in the opening session while Ross Halliday's Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V earned that spot in the afternoon.
Impressive Sydney GTP rookie Dean Canto grabbed pole position in Class B for both races aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX.
John Trimbole fought back from engine dramas aboard his Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo III to grab second place in the opening race while Chris Kousparis' Subaru Impreza WRX was second for race two.
Class C Championship leader David Ratcliff looks in dominating form aboard his Toyota Camry CSi with pole position for both events.
Rob Chadwick's Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports was second fastest ahead of Telegraph Mirror journalist Wayne Webster aboard the Ford Falcon XR8 media car.
Class D championship rivals Michael Simpson (BMW 323i) Ric Shaw (Toyota MR2 Bathurst) and Phil Kirkham (Mazda 626) qualified nose to tail in both sessions today.
While Simpson repeated his dominant form in the afternoon, Shaw looks set to take the Class D crown with a handy 20 point lead up his sleave over Kirkham.
Despite arch-rival Nigel Stones already clinching the title aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi, Aaron McGill showed he is going to fight it to the finish with pole in the opening session before Stones turned the tables in the afternoon.
QUALIFYING RACE ONE 1. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:12.951 2. John Bowe, Ferrari F355 Challenge 1:13.004 3. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:13.362 4. Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:13.375 Class B Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:19.075 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi 1:22.957 Class D Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 1:21.810 Class E Aaron McGill, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:24.094
RACE TWO 1. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:13.102 2. John Bowe, Ferrari F355 Challenge 1:13.129 3. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:13.300 4. Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS 1:13.340 Class B Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:19.316 Class C David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi 1:22.755 Class D Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 1:21.993 Class E Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:24.207