Stokell beats Bowe in brilliant battle of Italian exotics. Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell revved up the chase for his first Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with a stirring win in round four at Queensland Raceway today. Victory...
Stokell beats Bowe in brilliant battle of Italian exotics.
Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell revved up the chase for his first Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with a stirring win in round four at Queensland Raceway today.
Victory in two of three races helped Stokell, from Melbourne, reduce the gap to series leader John Bowe in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship pointscore.
Stokell and Bowe, each in Italian coupes worth around $700,000 staged the battle of the year in the 24-lap final.
Bowe started from third grid spot and Stokell from sixth, but by lap three they had dispatched the 7.0 litre Holden Monaros of Nathan Pretty and Peter Brock and Greg Crick's Chrysler Viper and were locked nose-to-tail.
Stokell tried every tactic over the next 20 laps, but each time the V12 Lamborghini surged close in the straights, Bowe used the smaller Ferrari's superior braking to win back precious metres.
Finally, Stokell got the Lamborghini's nose inside the Ferrari in a daring braking move on the second last lap and slipped past to take the win by just 1.7 seconds.
"It doesn't get any better than that. That's about as hard as I've ever driven," said Stokell, whose career features three prestigious CAMS Gold Star awards but not yet a Nations Cup.
"I could see John's tyres were going off, as were mine, but I got there in the end.
"That was 23 laps of hard work for a sweet result in the end."
Bowe still leads the series, with 289 points but Stokell has cut his deficit from 45 points to 34 with four rounds remaining.
Nathan Pretty, who won race two ahead of an in-form Brock, is third in the standings with 205 points.
Brock took a second, a third and a fourth place today, his best result since coming out of a five-year retirement in April to join the Nations Cup Championship.
The Nations Cup was part of a 15-race PROCAR Champ Series event featuring rounds of six national championships.
The event attracted a three-day attendance of 13,258, including 9000 today. A roll-up of 612 utes broke the record for trackside ute musters at PROCAR meetings.
Round four of the Australian GT Performance Championship, presented by Strathfield, matched the Nations Cup for excitement in its three races.
Queenslander Mark King held on to his lead in the standings, despite carrying a weight handicap of more than 50 kg in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII for winning round three.
He was the most consistent driver today, with a win and two second places, but much of the attention was drawn to two first-time winners.
Former truck racer John Falk improved on his pole position from yesterday by winning the first race, his first GTP and the first for a Ford Falcon.
It also was the first time this year that one of the all-wheel drive Mitsubishis or Subarus had been beaten.
Race three went to Adelaide motor engineer Steve Cramp, again a maiden win for him and his BMW M Coupe.
James Brock bettered his father Peter's tally with three wins in a Holden SS in the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series.
In the reverse-grid second race, Brock won a neck-and-neck dice over several laps with Ford Falcon driver Grant Denyer, who was second overall on the day.
David Ratcliff, in a Toyota Celica, took out both 10-lap handicap races in the Exide Australian Production Car Championship fourth round.
Ratcliff climbed from fourth to third in the series pointscore, but Scott Loadsman (Holden Commodore SS) still leads with a score now of 182 ahead of Steve Grocl (VW Beetle RSi), with 144.