UTE: Winton Saturday report

Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell tightened his grip on the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with an impressive pole position in qualifying for round seven at Winton Motor Raceway in northern Victoria today. Pole by a margin of 0.7...

Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell tightened his grip on the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with an impressive pole position in qualifying for round seven at Winton Motor Raceway in northern Victoria today.

Pole by a margin of 0.7 seconds in his Lamborghini Diablo added three points to Stokell's lead in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship, while his close rival John Bowe finished the session fourth in a Chrysler Viper.

The Holden Monaros of Nathan Pretty and Peter Brock will be between Stokell and Bowe on the starting grid for the first of three 20-lap races tomorrow.

Bowe had topped a final practice session this morning, but although he failed to turn that into his fifth pole position of the season he is in a better position than he expected to be a week ago.

His team PHR Scuderia shocked fans by withdrawing from the series after the engine of Bowe's usual car, a $750,000 Ferrari 360GT, was damaged during testing for this weekend's round.

However, fellow Tasmanian-born racer Greg Crick came to the rescue on Monday with an offer to lend his Viper and save the team's chances, a gesture Bowe described as "great sportsmanship".

Stokell was relieved to have the Monaro buffer between him and Bowe, who had been impressive in mastering the unfamiliar Viper.

"Bowe's a fighter, but I don't think the Monaros will be letting him past in a hurry," Stokell said.

"Qualifying would have been different if Bowe was in the Ferrari. I'm happy with the Lamborghini -- we've tested here a lot and we know what it can do."

Pretty planned to adjust his Monaro's suspension overnight in a quest for more cornering speed.

"I believe we've got a bit to go, but I really don't know if we can catch the Lamborghini," said Pretty, a three-time race winner this season.

Qualifying for round seven of the Australian GT Performance Championship (presented by Lukey Mufflers) produced six different car makes - Mitsubishi, Mazda, Volkswagen, Holden HSV, BMW and Subaru - in the first six positions.

In the most competitive qualifying contest of the season, 10 cars were within a second of the pole position time set Garry Holt, of Sydney in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.

Ford Falcon XR8 driver Craig Bradshaw upstaged the regulars in the Australian Production Car Championship (presented by Revolution Racegear) by scoring pole position for the seventh and final round.

John McIlroy was second-fastest in a Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo, but Scott Loadsman, who clinched the championship in the previous round at Phillip Island, could make only fourth spot in his Holden Commodore SS.

Steve Grocl is on course to wrap up the series' Class B championship after winning pole position and following the withdrawal of his nearest rival, David Ratcliff, who had engine failure in his Toyota Celica.

Ford Falcon driver Gary Young converted 14th into pole position in the post-qualifying starting grid draw for the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series.

Tomorrow's program will feature 15 races for Nations Cup, GTP, V8 BRutes, Production cars, the Australian Formula 3 Championship and the Falken Tyres Mirage Cup.

More information about the PROCAR Champ Series meeting, including entry lists, race times and championship standings, is available on www.procar.com.au

PRACTICE TIMES

Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship (Rd 7 of 8)
Outright
1. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo GTR 1min. 23.06 seconds
2. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:23.75
3. Peter Brock (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:23.81
4. John Bowe (Vic.) Chrysler Viper 1:23.89
5. Allan Simonsen (Denmark) Ferrari 360 Challenge1:25.36
6. Martin Wagg (Vic.) Porsche GT3 RS 1:26.03
Group Two
1. Allan Simonsen
2. James Koundouris (ACT) Porsche GT3
3. Sam Newman (Vic.) Lsmborghini Diablo

Australian GT Performance Championship, presented by Lukey Mufflers (Rd 7 of 8)
1. Garry Holt (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII 1min.32.54 sec.
2. Bob Pearson (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1:32.57
3. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Volkswagen Golf R32 1:32.84
4. Peter Floyd (Vic.) Holden GTS 1:32.85
5. Peter Boylan (NSW) BMW M3 1:33.03
6. Wayne Boatwright (NSW) Subaru Impreza WRX STi1:33.14

Poolrite V8 BRutes Series (Rd 7 of 8)
1. Warren Luff (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1 min. 40.53sec.
2. Gary Baxter (SA) Holden SS 1:40.64
3. James Brock (Vic.) Holden 1:40.71
4. Darren McDonald (Vic.) Holden 1:40.81
5. Damien White (NSW) Ford 1:41.17
6. Gary MacDonald (NSW) Holden 1:41.45
Pole position draw -- Gary Young (Vic.) Ford

Australian Production Car Championship (Rd 7 of 7)
Outright
1. Craig Bradshaw (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1 min.40.23 sec.
2. John McIlroy (Vic.) Ford Falcon XR6T 1:40.85
3. Darren Palmer (Qld) Honda S2000 1:41.04
4. Scott Loadsman (NSW) Holden Commodore SS 1:41.10
5. Steve Grocl (Vic.) Volkswagen New Beetle RSi1:41.60
6. Colin Osborne (NSW) Toyota Celica 1:42.01
Class A -- Craig Bradshaw
Class B -- Steve Grocl
Class D -- David Russell (NSW) Proton Satria 1:42.85

SPEED READ -- PROCAR Champ Series (Round 7)

* Timetable. Track action starts today at 9.00am -- 15 races for all categories except Porsches, plus ute muster judging at 2 pm , free autograph sessions with drivers at 12.10 pm and 1.00 pm, Donut King Stunt Show at 10.25 am, 12.00 midday, 12.30 pm, 2.15 pm and 4.05 pm.

* Ticket prices. Adults $30, children $10.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nathan Pretty , John Bowe , Allan Simonsen , Peter Brock , Peter Floyd , Peter Boylan , James Koundouris , Greg Crick , Paul Stokell , Wayne Boatwright , John McIlroy , Scott Loadsman , James Brock , Colin Osborne , Garry Holt , Gary Young , David Ratcliff , Warren Luff , Damien White , Bob Pearson , Craig Bradshaw , David Russell
Tags AUSUTE