PORSCHE ace Jim Richards confirmed his victory in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup by taking an emphatic win in the final 2000 series race at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, today. But while Richards was unchallenged throughout the 10 laps from the front row of the grid, after pole man Paul Stokell (Lamborghini) failed to take the start, a battle for second place in the championship raged down to the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the year. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche) clinched the position when he overtook the similar car of series newcomer Matthew Coleman for fourth place out of the last corner, ensuring a two-point margin over Ferrari¹s Mark Noske. Coleman and Noske had a heart-stopping dice for third place over the first six laps, running nose to tail in the rain until the Ferrari passed in a copybook move at the end of the straight. Peter Bradbury maintained recent strong form to come home second in a Porsche. Stokell, winner of the two previous races this weekend, brought his Lamborghini Diablo home in seventh spot after starting from pit lane. Richards, who won his title in the seventh round in Queensland last month, said the inaugural season of GTP Nations Cup racing had been a big success. "We've had fantastic racing all year between Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Dodge Viper. Mark (Noske) and Fitzy (Fitzgerald) have been great competitors," Richards said.

<pre> RESULTS:

1.  Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3)
2.  Peter Bradbury (Porsche 911 GT3)
3.  Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge)
4.  Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche 911 GT3
5.  Matthew Coleman (Porsche 911 GT3)
6.  Mark Williamson (Porsche 911 GT3)


1.  Jim Richards 224
2.  Peter Fitzgerald 162
3.  Mark Noske 160
4.  Paul Stokell  147
5.  Peter Bradbury 117
6.  Mark Williamson 101