CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP QUEENSLAND QUALIFYING 10th JULY 1999 FITZY FLIES AS BENINCA LEARNS FERRARI TRICKS Former Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Champion Peter Fitzgerald has come out...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
QUEENSLAND QUALIFYING 10th JULY 1999
FITZY FLIES AS BENINCA LEARNS FERRARI TRICKS
Former Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Champion Peter Fitzgerald has come out fighting at the new Queensland Raceway with pole position for both of tomorrow’s two 20-lap races.
The 1997 title-holder has been the fastest man in all on-track sessions to date at the new circuit aboard his Porsche 911 RSCS.
Jim Richards was second fastest in both sessions ahead of the similar Porsche of Ed Aitken.
Paula Elstrek broke the Porsche stranglehold on the grid by graduating to fourth fastest in the second session aboard the Maserati Ghibli usually steered by Perry Spiridis.
But for Fitzgerald, the dual pole winning effort was a return to form for the Melbourne racer.
"We made a couple of minor changes to the car which seems to have made a big difference," Fitzgerald said.
"The car is running very strong, but trying to hold off Jimmy tomorrow in the races will be tougher than grabbing pole."
Domenic Beninca had a troubled debut aboard the Ferrari F355 Challenge. Substituting for Wayne Park, Beninca had a power steering and alternator belt fail in the opening qualifying session, leaving back in 9th spot.
He improved in the second session to qualify sixth fastest.
"The difference between the Porsche and Ferrari is like night and day," Beninca said.
"I am gradually getting used to the car, but the aim of the day is to collect points - not try for heroics."
Geoff Full’s stranglehold on the Class B points was disrupted by a brake problem which sent the Subaru Impreza WRX into the sand-trap in the opening session. Bob Hughes’ Mazda RX7 grabbed pole position for the opening race, before Full fought back in the afternoon.
Ryan McLeod (Ford Falcon XR8) took the opening race Class C pole before suffering a head gasket failure, while David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) grabbed the honours in the afternoon.
Ric Shaw took pole for both races aboard his Toyota Camry CSi in Class S.
Phil Kirkham (Mazda 626) shook off a challenge from Carol Jackson’s Honda Civic VTiR to grab the GTP Lights Class D pole.
The beauty (Melinda Price) again outqualified the beast (Sam Newman) aboard their Holden Vectras.
Nathan Thomas impressed aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi to oust Kosi Kalaitzidis from the Class E pole positions.
RESULTS QUALIFYING ONE 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.191 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.601 3. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.618 4. - Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:18.099 Class B - Bob Hughes, Mazda RX7 - 1:22:856 Class C - Ryan McLeod, Ford Falcon EL XR8 - 1:26.099 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:28.120 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:29.436 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:25.227
QUALIFYING TWO 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.425 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.512 3. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 1:17.563 4. - Paula Elstrek, Maserati Ghibli (A) - 1:17.935 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:22.473 Class C - David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi - 1:26.365 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:27.636 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:29.354 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:25.346
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