CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP PHILLIP ISLAND RACE TWO 17th MAY 1998 WALDON AND "FITZY" FIGHT CLASSIC BATTLE Garry Waldon walked away from round three of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car ...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
PHILLIP ISLAND RACE TWO 17th MAY 1998
WALDON AND "FITZY" FIGHT CLASSIC BATTLE
Garry Waldon walked away from round three of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship with two victories but his second success at Phillip Island today came after a titanic fight with reigning champ Peter Fitzgerald.
Waldon made his first bad start for the season and Fitzgerald was able to open up a gap before the Dodge Viper driver began his charge to regain the lead.
Setting a new lap record on lap two, Waldon regained the lead and held it to the chequered flag.
Race one pacesetter Alf Costanzo made a barnstorming start but threw away his race chances after running off the circuit on the opening lap.
Domenic Beninca (Porsche 911 RSCS) took the battle for third after holding out Neil Crompton (Ferrari F355 Challenge) and Rodney Forbes (Porsche) who later retired with a flat tyre.
Fitzgerald charged back to challenge Waldon in the later stages but could not find a way past.
"That was certainly one of the toughest races we've had because my tyres were finished at the end," Waldon said.
"I nearly left a gap with a couple of laps to go because I thought I had a big enough lead - next thing I know, Fitzy is right beside me! "I was confident of getting to victory lane this weekend but it has been a lot tougher than I would have thought."
Dean Canto continued his stunning performances in Class B, taking his second successive win over John Trimbole. The 17-year-old Sydney racer charged ahead in his Subaru Impreza WRX and was never challenged. John Cowley performed strongly to finish third in Class B and 10th outright.
David Ratcliff fought back from his earlier failure to finish in the Toyota Camry CSi to grab the Class C victory in race two. The Mitsubishi Magna TE Sports duo of Rob Chadwick and Steve Knight took the minor placings.
GTP LIGHTS Ric Shaw's winning run continued in the GTP Lights Class D division, beating home Toyota MR2 team-mate Colin Osborne and Mazda 626 driver Phil Kirkham.
Michael Simpson's promising run ended aboard the BMW 323i when suffered a front wheel bearing failure.
Nigel Stones (Suzuki Swift GTi) again took the Class E victory over Kosi Kalaitzidis (Proton M21 Coupe). Darren Best's Hyundai Excel Sprint Twin Cam failed to finish after losing oil pressure.
RESULTS RACE TWO 12 LAPS 1. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) 21:04.064 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 21:04.455 3. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 21:12.799 4. Neil Crompton, Ferrari 355 Challenge (A) 21:16.680 5. Alf Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli (A) 21:36.123 6. Paul Stokell, Lotus Elise Sport 190 (A) 22:04.712 7. Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V (A) 22:20.552 8. Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 22:54.847 9. John Trimbole, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III (B) 11 laps 10. John Cowley, HSV GTS-R 215i 11 laps
POINTS OUTRIGHT: Beninca 71, Waldon 69, Fitzgerald 68, Bowe 44, Almond 23, Forbes 22, Stokell 22, Costanzo 22. CLASS A: Beninca 70. CLASS B: Carter 70. CLASS C: Ratcliff 67. CLASS D: Shaw 90. CLASS E: Stones 84.