Philli[ Island Preview

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP PHILLIP ISLAND PREVIEW 10TH MAY 1998 CROMPTON FILLS IN FOR BOWE IN FERRARI International racer and television host Neil Crompton will race the Ross Palmer Motorsport Ferrari F355 ...

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

PHILLIP ISLAND PREVIEW 10TH MAY 1998

CROMPTON FILLS IN FOR BOWE IN FERRARI

International racer and television host Neil Crompton will race the Ross Palmer Motorsport Ferrari F355 Challenge normally steered by John Bowe in round three of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Phillip Island on May 17.

Bowe recommended his friend Crompton to take over his seat while he misses the next two rounds of the championship due to family commitments.

Crompton will also drive the car in round six of the Championship at Mallala as Bowe has a clashing V8 Supercar race at Hidden Valley in Darwin on the same day.

A front running championship contender in last year’s North American Super Touring Car Championship, Crompton is eagerly awaiting the chance to have his first competition drive in 1998.

"To get the chance to drive the car was totally unexpected and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity," Crompton said.

"It’s great to try something new, particularly in such a competitive class as GTP.

"Last year with the Super Tourer in the US, testing Wayne Gardner’s V8 Supercar and joining Wayne for the enduro races, I had an absolutely frantic year.

"This year was looking pretty bleak then all of a sudden, I’m testing with Glenn Seton next Wednesday at Phillip Island, racing the Ferrari on the weekend and then back in the V8 at Mallala the weekend after."

The former Bathurst 12-hour winner is thankful to Bowe and the Ross Palmer Motorsport team for the chance to climb aboard the Italian Stallion.

"I’m really grateful to John for suggesting I drive the car and I’m looking forward to discussing various facets of the car in greater detail with him next week," Crompton said.

"We’ve known each other well for a long time and I’m just hopeful of doing a good fast job and looking forward to the chance to team up with John for the GTP endurance races later in the year."

Crompton will face some stiff opposition in his debut GTP outing with Garry Waldon’s Dodge Viper GTS Coupe expected to be the pacesetter on the fast flowing Phillip Island circuit.

Peter Fitzgerald, Domenic Beninca and Rodney Forbes are hopeful of strong showings aboard their Porsche 911 RSCS’s while Targa Tasmania runner-up Craig Dean will make his GTP debut aboard a Toyota Soarer Turbo Coupe - a similar machine to the one in which he finished second to Jim Richards in Targa.

Chris Kousparis (Subaru Impreza WRX) and Murray Carter (Nissan 200SX) are again expected to dominate the Class B ranks which have been swelled with the return of John Cowley and Richard Davis aboard HSV GTS-Rs and Trevor Haines (Subaru Impreza WRX).

Melbourne Herald Sun motoring editor and Bathurst GTP class winner Paul Gover will step aboard the new Class C Ford Falcon XR8 media car. Gover should appreciate the boost in power after running the XR6 at Bathurst.

David Ratcliff’s Toyota Camry CSi should be one to watch in Class C after winning both Oran Park races.

The GTP Lights Class D battle will hot up with the BMW 323i machines of Luke Searle and Michael Simpson expected to challenge the dominant Toyota MR2 of Ric Shaw. Simpson’s car actually clinched 3rd outright in a corresponding race at Phillip Island two years ago in the hands of Beric Lynton.

Nigel Stones will be hoping to set the record straight aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi in Class E after fellow Suzuki runner Aaron McGill took a double win at Oran Park.

Darren Best’s Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam returns after an Oran Park engine failure while Kosi Kalaitzidis in the Malaysian Proton M21 Coupe will be keen to improve upon his impressive last round pace.

ENTRIES CLASS A 1 Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS 3 Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli Twin Turbo 5 Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS 24 Marcus Marshall, Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo 26 Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V 27 Neil Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge 41 Craig Dean, Toyota Soarer Turbo Coupe 50 Paul Stokell, Lotus Elise Sport 52 Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS 85 Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS 97 Brad Glasson, Nissan Pulsar GTi-T Turbo

CLASS B 2 John Cowley, HSV GTS-R 215i 6 Chris Kousparis, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 7 Peter Boylan, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 18 Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX Turbo 25 Richard Davis, HSV GTS-R 215i 44 Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 47 John Trimbole, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo III 61 Trevor Haines, Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo

CLASS C 20 Robert Chadwick, Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports V6 21 Steve Knight, Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports V6 28 Paul Gover, Ford Falcon EL XR8 55 Mark Cohen, Holden Commodore VS SS V8 88 David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry Csi V6

CLASS D 13 Colin Osborne, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 15 Luke Searle, BMW 323i 16 Peter Phelan, Peugeot 405 Mi 16 32 Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 35 Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 71 Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626

CLASS E 22 Kosi Kalaitzidis, Proton M21 Coupe 42 Nigel Stones, Suzuki Swift Gti 75 Aaron McGill, Suzuki Swift Gti 78 Darren Best, Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam 98 Danny Brian, Suzuki Swift Gti

LAST TIME AROUND: Round 2, June 1, 1997

RACE ONE                                 11 laps
1.      Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche (A)    19:11.267
2.      John Bowe, Ferrari (A)           19:12.398
3.      Domenic Beninca, Porsche (A)     19:15.456
4.      Ed Aitken, Porsche (A)           19:24.914
5.      Ray Lintott, Dodge Viper (A)     19:46.898
6.      Max Dunn, Porsche (A)            19:47.963
7.      Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati (A)   20:07.280
8.      John Bourke, Toyota Supra (A)    20:40.538
9.      Andrej Pavicevic, Subaru WRX (B) 20:47.154
10.     Chris Kousparis, Subaru WRX (B)  21:03.325
RACE TWO                                 11 LAPS
1.      John Bowe, Ferrari (A)           19:12.807
2.      Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche (A)    19:13.006
3.      Domenic Beninca, Porsche (A)     19:16.258
4.      Ed Aitken, Porsche (A)           19:18.165
5.      Ray Lintott, Dodge Viper (A)     19:50.659
6.      Max Dunn, Porsche (A)            19:51.340
7.      Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati (A)   20:01.517
8.      John Bourke, Toyota Supra (A)    20:24.863
9.      Andrej Pavicevic, Subaru WRX (B) 20:40.655
10.     Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX (B)  20:55.711

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