Young GTP rookie Rodney "Rocket" Forbes took his second Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship victory at Winton today but not before surviving an opening lap clash with John Bowe.

Forbes' Porsche 911 RSCS banged wheels with Bowe's Ferrari F355 Challenge on the opening lap, with Bowe spinning back to the tail of the field and Forbes charging on to victory.

Bowe set the fastest lap in a stirring comeback drive which lifted him to fourth place before his tyre performance dropped him off the pace.

The Ferrari driver then had to hold off a determined Paul Stokell aboard the Lotus Elise.

Peter Fitzgerald won the championship chase battle with Domenic Beninca - both mounted in Porsche 911 RSCS's.

Fitzgerald's race was nearly ruined when he clashed with a smaller class car and suffered slight damage to the rear suspension.

With the points gap between Beninca and Fitzgerald now down to three points, the championship grand final at Oran Park on August 30 will decide the title.

"I was surprised to see John spinning in the mirrors, because it was only a slight touch," Forbes said.

"Once I got in front, the car wasn't handling well and I was quite surprised but delighted to hang on to the lead."

Bowe however, was not impressed with having to charge from the back of the field.

"I basically got punted from behind, and I'm not happy about it," Bowe said.

"Tyres stopped me continuing through the pack, but I shouldn't have had to in the first place."

Dean Canto made up for his opening race wheel bearing problems to take the Class B victory aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX. Murray Carter (Nissan 200SX) took second ahead of Peter Boylan's Subaru.

David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) and Mark Cohen (Holden Commodore VS SS) fought out a last lap paint swapping duel before the Toyota driver took the victory.


Nigel Stones wrapped up the GTP Lights Class E Championship with a dominating victory in race two.

The Suzuki Swift driver now holds an unbeatable points lead over Aaron McGill who failed to finish.

Kosi Kalaitzidis took second place aboard the Proton M21 Coupe. Michael Simpson again showed impressive speed to capture the GTP Lights Class D division - taking his sixth win from his past six races aboard a BMW 323i.

Ric Shaw grabbed second aboard a Toyota MR2 Bathurst.

RESULTS RACE TWO 16 LAPS 1. Rodney Forbes, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:38.404 2. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:42.594 3. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:43.914 4. John Bowe, Ferrari 355 Challenge (A) 24:46.610 5. Paul Stokell, Lotus Elise Sport 190 (A) 24:47.507 6. Alfredo Costanzo, Maserati Ghibli (A) 24:48.592 7. Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:55.724 8. Ross Almond, Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V 26:08.614 9. Dean Canto, Subaru Impreza WRX (B) 26:12.703 10. Murray Carter, Nissan 200SX (B) 15 laps

POINTS OUTRIGHT: Beninca 157, Fitzgerald 154, Waldon 123, Bowe 98, Forbes 93, Stokell 46, Costanzo 37, Almond 36, CLASS A: Beninca 154, CLASS B: Carter 170, CLASS C: Ratcliff 168, CLASS D: Shaw 160, CLASS E: Stones 199.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Paul Ryan, (0419) 295 285 E-MAIL: paulryan@camtech.net.au FURTHER NEWS: http://www.gtprod.com.au