Phillip Island: Race report

Morgan leads Nations Cup, Peters leads GT Performance afer upset day at Phillip Island. -Osborne wraps up first GT Production Car Championship SYDNEY driver Geoff Morgan set out today to narrow the gap to rival John Bowe in the Australian...

Morgan leads Nations Cup, Peters leads GT Performance afer upset day at Phillip Island.
-Osborne wraps up first GT Production Car Championship

SYDNEY driver Geoff Morgan set out today to narrow the gap to rival John Bowe in the Australian Nations Cup Championship for exotic sports cars, but instead found himself leading the series unexpectedly after round seven at Phillip Island, Victoria.

The misfortunes of Bowe and his $750,000 Ferrari coupe were Morgan's gain as he powered his eight-litre Chrysler Viper to three wins from three starts on the 4.5 km grand prix circuit.

Bowe, after a car-crunching spin in race one, a start-line transmission failure in race two and then a record-setting drive from the rear of the field to fourth in race three, slipped from first to third in the pointscore, reversing positions with Morgan.

Between them, defending champion Jim Richards retained second place in the series but also moved closer to the lead after scoring two second places and a third in a performance highlighted by an exciting battle with Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell.

Morgan more than achieved what he set out to do today, knowing that the final round next month at the Gold Coast Indy street circuit will not favor the bulky Viper.

Bowe said: "This wasn't my day today, what more can I say. Geoff has taken a good lead and I'll have to win every race and he'll have to have a non-finish for me to have much chance of winning the championship.

"And then you have Jimmy Richards, who scores points whereever he goes and is closer to the lead than ever."

Morgan now has 1047 points, Richards 1030 and Bowe 982.

Today's PROCAR Champ Series meeting also saw an upset in the Australian GT Performance Championship.

With a new, un-raced Subaru Impreza to drive, Queenslander Brett Peters took two wins and a second place to regain the series lead from his season-long rival Geoff Full, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.

Peters has 911 points to Full's 880 and, again, the scene is set for a showdown in the final round at Surfers Paradise.

The usual order in the GT Performance field also was shaken up by a number of tyre and wheel bearing problems related to Phillip Island's high speeds and cornering forces.

Several drivers, including Mark King, David Wood, Anton Mechtler, Wayne Boatwright and Dennis Gilbert were reported to have problems this weekend

The 400-horsepower Holden GTS sedans of Peter Floyd, Barry Morcom and Barrie Nesbitt did not race at all after a bid to have the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport approve more suitable, wider wheel rims ended in stalemate.

The 16-race program included the final round of the Australian GT Production Car Championship, run for popular cars of the type that saw the birth of production car racing in the Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island in 1960.

With two second places in his Toyota Celica today, GTP stalwart Colin Osborne wrapped up his first outright championship, plus the Sports Touring class championship.

The winner of both races, Scott Loadsman, from Sydney, finished second in the series and claimed victory in the V8 Touring class in a Holden Commodore SS.

Another Holden driver, Martin Doxey, won the 4-Cylinder Touring class championship in an Astra hatchback after a consistent final-round performance.

Television. On SBS Speedweek - Nations Cup Saturday 28 September 3.30, GT Performance Saturday 5 October 3.30, V8 BRutes Saturday 19 October 3.30, GT Production & F3 Saturday 26 October 3.30. On Inside Speed on Fox Sport 2, Thursdays at 8.30 pm. Check local guides.

-procar.au-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Peter Floyd , Geoff Morgan , Paul Stokell , Geoff Full , Mark King , Scott Loadsman , Anton Mechtler , Brett Peters , Barrie Nesbitt , Barry Morcom , David Wood , Phillip Island