Rulings boost Richards' GTP Nations Cup lead

PORSCHE driver Jim Richards has inherited an extended lead in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup after the exclusion of two competitors from the results of races in Queensland two weeks ago. After four of eight rounds, Richards...

PORSCHE driver Jim Richards has inherited an extended lead in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup after the exclusion of two competitors from the results of races in Queensland two weeks ago.

After four of eight rounds, Richards leads the national series with 105 points, with nearest challenger Mark Noske now on 83 points following the loss of six points he had earned at Queensland Raceway on 2 July.

Following rulings on car eligibility matters by CAMS hearings in Melbourne and Brisbane last week, two-time GTP champion Richards will be under heavy pressure to defend his advantage when the second half of the 2000 series starts at Oran Park, near Sydney, on 28-30 July.

Before round five, CAMS Limited and series organiser PROCAR Australia expect to have introduced a new system for dealing with the eligibility of cars needing to use non-original parts to remain in competition.

Oran Park has attracted a record 25 entries, including Noske's Prancing Horse Racing team Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge, which the CAMS stewards found was technically ineligible when it competed in a race at Queensland Raceway with a non-original radiator, fitted to repair crash damage.

Noske was excluded from the race results, costing him six points for his fifth-place finish, and fined $500.

A similar protest against Ross Palmer Motorsport's Darren Palmer found his Ferrari had used a non-original radiator and starter ring gear.

Palmer was excluded from the results of two races, losing five points and relegating him from eighth to ninth in the championship standings. He also was fined $500.

Richards survived a protest against the eligibility of his Porsche GT3, as did a second Ross Palmer Ferrari driven by Wayne Park.

It had been alleged Park's car used non-genuine parts in the conversion from a semi-automatic clutchless gearchange to a conventional manual shift mechanism.

The CAMS decisions have clarified the issue of fitting non-genuine parts when factory originals are not available for some of the exotic cars competing in the GTP Nations Cup.

GTP Nations Cup category manager Steve Bettes said a proposal was before the CAMS Motor Racing Committee to allow non-genuine, non-performance enhancing parts made to mechanically identical specifications, if it could be shown genuine originals could not be supplied by the vehicle manufacturer.

Bettes said he was confident the new arrangements would be in place in time for Oran Park.

The instances discussed in the CAMS hearings had been the result of factory-made radiators, ring gear and gearchange components not being available for the $350,000 limited-production Ferrari Challenge.

<pre> MEGUIAR'S TOP MARQUES DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP (after Rd 4, revised): 1. Jim Richards 105 4. Peter Fitzgerald 63 2. Mark Noske 83 5. Mark Williamson 49 3. Paul Stokell 71 6. Wayne Park 44

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Mark Noske , Peter Fitzgerald , Mark Williamson , Paul Stokell , Wayne Park
Teams Williams