CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP WINTON RACE ONE 22nd AUGUST 1999 PHELAN CLOSER TO CLASS C CROWN DESPITE CLASH Peter Phelan has closed on the Class C title aboard his Holden Commodore VT SS despite clashing with...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
WINTON RACE ONE 22nd AUGUST 1999
PHELAN CLOSER TO CLASS C CROWN DESPITE CLASH
Peter Phelan has closed on the Class C title aboard his Holden Commodore VT SS despite clashing with Ford rival Ryan McLeod in the opening race of round seven of the 1999 Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.
Phelan held a 16.5 point lead in the Championship prior to this weekend and looked set to further cement his grip on the title by leading the opening race until three laps to go when McLeod attempted a pass around the outside of the esses.
The pair clashed exiting the turn with Phelan dropping back behind the Ford driver.
"The championship is still looking good but I thought Ryan's move was a bit hard," Phelan said.
"We have ended up with a bit of damage on the car which is pretty disappointing."
McLeod felt he had the right of way as the duo charged through the esses.
"I got up alongside Peter through the left hander and had the line as we went back to the right," McLeod said.
The clash was one of several during the action packed event. The Class B Subaru Impreza WRX's of Dwayne Bewley and Clyde Lawrence made heavy contact and demolished a trackside sign while Class A Porsche 911 RSCS driver Geoff Morgan was unlucky to strike Nathan Thomas' Suzuki Swift GTi which spun into his path after getting a tap.
Peter Fitzgerald continued his strong form in the Meguiar's Top Marques Class A division, holding out Championship leader Jim Richards, also armed with a Porsche 911 RSCS.
The duo fought a titanic battle throughout the 12 lap event with Domenic Beninca (Porsche 911 RSCS) and Wayne Park (Ferrari F355 Challenge) grabbing third and fourth place.
Paula Elstrek (Mazda RX7) aided the absent Geoff Full's championship hopes by holding out his points rival Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III) to claim the Class B victory.
Bob Hughes took third, also aboard a Mazda RX7 Twin Turbo.
Ric Shaw put the Class S title almost beyond doubt with another victory in his Toyota MR2 Bathurst.
Phil Kirkham's winning form in his GTP Lights Class D Mazda 626 continued in race one, accounting for the Holden Vectra 2.2 GL of Melinda Price.
The victory wrapped up the Class D title for the Melbourne driver. Sam Newman continued his consistent recent form, keeping the Holden Vectra 2.2 GL on track to grab third.
Nathan Thomas' bad luck continued in Class E after being spun off the circuit into the path of Geoff Morgan's Porsche 911 RSCS.
Thomas had lost the lead in heavy traffic to Peugeot 306 Style driver Warren Luff at mid-race distance before the incident. Kosi Kalaitzidis took second aboard the Proton M21 Coupe.
RESULTS RACE ONE - 12 LAPS 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 18:31.435 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 18:30.562 3. - Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) - 18:34.979 4. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) - 18:36.817 Class B - Paula Elstrek, Mazda RX7 - 19:32.646 Class C - Ryan McLeod, Ford Falcon EL XR8 - 1 lap down Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1 lap down Class E - Warren Luff, Peugeot 306 Style - 1 lap down Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1 lap down
COMPLETE RESULTS: http://www.racetime.com.au/racedata/w9939/r06res.htm
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY: http://www.poolrite.com.au http://www.autobarn.com.au http://www.meguiars.com http://www.toyota.com.au http://www.hippies.com.au