OAMPS INSURANCE ENDURANCE CLASSIC - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 SANDOWN INTERNATIONAL MOTOR RACEWAY
SUNDAY 13th SEPTEMBER 1998
PASTA POWER - ITALIAN SQUAD TAKE VICTORY
An Italian car and two drivers of Italian origin dominated proceedings to take victory at the OAMPS Insurance Endurance Classic at Sandown today.
Alfredo Costanzo, the oldest driver in the race at 55 was teamed with the youngest in 17-year-old rookie Dean Canto to take the win aboard the potent Maserati Ghibli.
Stretching its legs on the long straights at Sandown, the Maserati toppled the Ferrari F355 Challenge of John Bowe and Neil Crompton with the father and son team of Max and Luke Warwick in third place aboard a Porsche 911 RSCS.
The Domenic Beninca Porsche 911 RSCS grabbed the race lead after the mid-event pit stops but with Canto closing fast, Beninca's co-driver Gary Waldon tangled with the lapped Mitsubishi Magna TS Sports of Rob Chadwick, putting the Porsche out of the event.
"This victory is a great result, particularly for our team led by our crew chief Marino." Costanzo said.
"Personally, I am also very pleased to prove to myself that I can still be competitive and also for young Dean who did a brilliant job."
After contesting Class B in a Subaru Impreza WRX throughout the year, Canto firmly grabbed his opportunity to drive in Class A this weekend.
"It is a great result for me and I am just delighted with the chance," Canto said.
"A little bit of rain made life a bit slippery when I got into the car, but I could see Garry was in trouble with his tyres.
"From where I sat, you could see the accident coming and I just got on the brakes early to make sure I did not get caught up in it."
Female racer Paula Elstrek took fourth place aboard the Ferrari F355 Challenge despite team owner and co-driver Perry Spiridis suffering a mid-race spin. Peter Fitzgerald and Ed Aitken failed to finish after suffering driveshaft failure.
Class B was taken out by the Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo III of John Trimbole and Damien White ahead of the HSV GTS-R of Richard Davis and Gary Baxter.
Iron Man Grant Kenny did a great job with Scott Jacob aboard a Subaru Impreza WRX to finish 12th outright.
Andrew Miedecke and Graham Hunt tasted victory in Class C aboard the older model Ford Falcon XR6 EL, beating home the Toyota Camry CSi of David Ratcliff and Geoff Full.
In a repeat of their Bathurst GTP Lights Class D victory, Calvin Gardiner and Tom Watkinson again took the win aboard their Mazda 626.
Allan Letcher and Cameron Edwards led the early going aboard their Honda Civic VTi-R while the Matt Lehmann and Megan Kirkham Mazda 626 brought out the first safety car period of the event when they collided with the Chadwick/ Myhill Magna, causing major front end damage.
Aaron McGill and Don Pulver headed Class E with their Suzuki Swift GTi.
RESULTS - 1 HOUR* 1. A. Costanzo/D. Canto, Maserati Ghibli 1:01:20.187 2. J. Bowe/N. Crompton, Ferrari F355 Challenge 1:01:29.231 3. M. Warwick/L. Warwick, Porsche 911 RSCS 42 laps 4. P. Spiridis/P. Elstrek, Ferrari F355 Challenge 42 laps 5. J. Cartwright/C. D'Agostin, Toyota Supra RZ 42 laps 6. R. Halliday/D. Wallis, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 41 laps 7. C. Dean/R. Porter, Toyota Soarer 40 laps 8. J. Trimbole/D. White, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III (Class B)40 laps 9. R. Davis/G. Baxter, HSV GTS-R (Class B) 40 laps 10.G. Hunt/A. Miedecke, Ford Falcon EL XR8 39 laps Class D C. Gardiner/T. Watkinson, Mazda 626 38 laps Class E A. McGill/D. Pulver, Suzuki Swift GTi 36 laps * provisional
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