24 November 2001
Qualifying, Round 8 - Oran Park, NSW

Stokell Steers $700K Lamborghini To Pole For Nations Cup Decider At Oran Park

MULTIPLE Australian champion driver Paul Stokell showed that $700,000 was money well spent on a new Lamborghini Diablo when he took pole position today for the final round of the Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship at Oran Park Raceway, near Sydney.

Stokell put the Lamborghini - a GTR model flown from Italy especially for this weekend and believed to be the most expensive racing car in Australia - around the 2.6 km circuit in 1 minute 12.17 seconds.

He will start tomorrow's eighth and deciding round of the championship beside Geoff Morgan, who was just two-tenths of a second slower in a Chrysler Viper.

Stokell's qualifying effort moved him one point closer to series leader Jim Richards, who was fourth fastest in a Porsche GT3, behind Ferrari's John Bowe.

Richards has a margin of 103 points and needs to do little more than finish safely in tomorrow's three races to wrap up his second straight Nations Cup championship.

The Nations Cup will be a highlight of tomorrow's PROCAR Champ Series 2001 grand final meeting.

A 16-race program starting at 9 am also will feature the final rounds of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship and the Australian Formula 3 Championship.

RESULTS (Qualifying):
1. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo GTR) 1:12.17
2. Geoff Morgan (Chrysler Viper) 1:12.37
3. John Bowe (Ferrari 360 Challenge) 1:12.84
4. Jim Richards (Porsche GT3) 1:13.44
5. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3) 1:13.47
6. T. Quinn (Porsche GT3) 1:13.85

2001 MEGUIAR'S DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP (after Round 7 of 8): 859 points Jim Richards, 756 Paul Stokell, 676 Peter Fitzgerald, 631 Geoff Morgan, 589 Tony Quinn, 501 D'arcy Russell.

TIMETABLE:
Sunday
11.30 Race 1 (11 laps)
1.30 Race 2 (11 laps)
3.40 Race 3 (11 laps).

LAST YEAR: Pole - Park (Ferrari) 1 min. 12.57 sec. Race 1 - Richards (Porsche), Noske (Ferrari), Fitzgerald (Porsche). Race 2 - Richards, Bradbury (Porsche), Jones (Ferrari). Lap record - Richards 1:12.57.

- www.procar.com.au