APR: Clipsal day one summary

Mark; King of the Friday Performance Jungle It may be St. Patrick's Day, but Mark King didn't need the luck of the Irish as he topped the opening day of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship, on the streets of ...

Mark; King of the Friday Performance Jungle

It may be St. Patrick's Day, but Mark King didn't need the luck of the Irish as he topped the opening day of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship, on the streets of Adelaide.

A field of 25 high performance cars took to the circuit for two practice sessions today, commencing the Clipsal 500 festival in Adelaide.

King steered his Delphi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII to a fastest time of 1:33.6696 around the 3.22km Adelaide circuit, getting his season off to the best possible start.

"It's a good way to start the year," said King. "The Lancer was great, and the times reflect that. It's all shaping up well for the rest of the weekend."

"The competition at the top of the field is intense. With so many different types of cars in the field, each with their different features, whoever wins this weekend will have earnt the trophy -- hopefully it will be me, but there is still a long way to go."

Century 21 driver Garry Holt ended the day just under three tenths of a second shy of King, making it a Mitsubishi 1-2 at the top of the timesheets. The first of the V8 drivers was Peter Floyd; his BP Ultimate sponsored HSV VY GTS completed the top 3.

Floyd edged out the Sennheiser Audio Mazda RX7 of Ric Shaw, while Steve Cramp was the best of the South Australians and ended the day with the 5th fastest time in his C.V.W Engineering HSV. Beric Lynton was 6th fastest in the Bruce Lynton BMW M3, followed by Chris Alajajian. Aboard the Jack Hillermans Smash Subaru, Alajajian made it 5 different manufacturers inside the top 7.

Of the other South Australian drivers, late addition to the field Andrew Taplin was 10th fastest in the Taplin Real Estate Mitsubishi Lancer, with Craig Dontas (CSA Wheels HSV) 12th and Michael Brock 13th.

Brock, though, had a wild ride through the infamous turn 8 sweeper in the afternoon session and was fortunate to emerge unscathed and without more serious damage to his once pristine Lancer. With thanks to some good work by the TAFE repair crew and the Coopers Pale Ale crew, the car should be back on the grid for Friday's action.

"It's certainly one of the most challenging corners in Australia," said Brock. "All the boys were hypothesising about whether you could go through there (turn 8) without braking. After a few laps, I tried it without braking, the back stepped out, I went around, and then went in backwards on the inside of the track.

"In some ways I got off quite likely, there has been some horrific accident through there, the best part was going in backwards, rather than frontward which would have caused terminal damage."

The action continues tomorrow, Friday, with qualifying at 9:05am and the weekend's opening 9 lap race at 3:25pm.

For more information on the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship, visit www.performanceracing.net.au

-apr-

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Series CAMS
Drivers Peter Floyd , Ric Shaw , Beric Lynton , Bruce Lynton , Mark King , Garry Holt , Michael Brock , Chris Alajajian