ORAN PARK QUALIFYING 4th SEPTEMBER 1999

The mighty Dodge Viper GTS of Garry Waldon has returned to the scene of the marques¹ first Australian victory for the final round of the 1999 Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.

Waldon qualified fourth and third fastest in the two sessions today and looms as a major threat tomorrow.

Porsche 911 RSCS driver Peter Fitzgerald will start from pole position in both races ahead of the Ferrari F355 Challenge of Wayne Park.

Waldon is confident of repeating his Sandown victory from earlier this year.

"The Dodge Viper has fantastic horsepower, but we are having a little bit of trouble in the slow corners putting the power down," Waldon said.

"We also have to keep an eye on oversteer coming out of the corners as well.

"I have no doubt that we will lead the races tomorrow and the biggest thing will be how the brakes hold up.

"Tyre wear could also be a problem for us, but we could get a good result if our luck holds out."

Porsche 911 RSCS drivers Domenic Beninca, Geoff Morgan and Ed Aitken swapped positions from fourth to sixth ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V of local ace, Rod Salmon.

V8 Supercar owner Terry Finnigan pulled out a strong performance to qualify in 13th spot aboard a BMW M3R, only to suffer a blown engine late in the session. The team is now working to repair the damage for tomorrow.

Female racer Paula Elstrek (Mazda RX7) pulled out her best performance of the year to qualify on pole position for both races in the Autobarn Class B division.

New Class B champ Geoff Full led the chase in the opening session, but fell to third in the afternoon behind the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III of Mark King.

Newcomer Daryl Coon pulled out a stunning performance to grab his first Class C pole position in the morning session with his Ford Falcon AU XR6.

Coon toppled the V8 dominance of recent races, but new Class C champ Peter Phelan bounced back in the afternoon to take pole in his Holden Commodore VT SS.

Ric Shaw looks set to continue his Class S winning run with two pole positions in his Toyota MR2 Bathurst.

GTP LIGHTS

With Kosi Kalaitzidis favoured to clinch the GTP Lights Class E title this weekend, Nathan Thomas proved he is going to go down fighting aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi.

Thomas was actually faster than all the Class D competitors to head Warren Luff¹s Peugeot 306 Style in both qualifying sessions.

Newly crowned Class D champ, Phil Kirkham, continued his exceptional run to grab both pole positions aboard his Mazda 626.

RESULTS QUALIFYING ONE 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:13.401 2. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) - 1:13.425 3. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:13.540 4. - Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) - 1:13.912 Class B - Paula Elstrek, Mazda RX7 - 1:18.202 Class C - Daryl Coon, Ford Falcon AU XR6 - 1:21.341 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:23.909 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:23.009 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:21.598

QUALIFYING TWO 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:13.679 2. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) - 1:13.738 3. - Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) - 1:14.136 4. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:14.350 Class B - Paula Elstrek, Mazda RX7 - 1:18.985 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:21.730 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:25.082 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:23.671 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:21.789

Paul Ryan" <paul@pr2.com.au>