THREE TIMES A POLE MAN For the third time in succession, David Ryan has been the fastest qualifier after steering his Ford Falcon XR8 Turbo to pole for round five of the SHANNONS Australian Production Car Championship at Phillip Island raceway...
THREE TIMES A POLE MAN
For the third time in succession, David Ryan has been the fastest qualifier after steering his Ford Falcon XR8 Turbo to pole for round five of the SHANNONS Australian Production Car Championship at Phillip Island raceway in Victoria..
After playing second fiddle to Class leader Drew Russell (Honda S2000) in practice, Ryan found a second and a half improvement for a best of 1min53.4498secs to top his rival by just over eight tenths of a second.
The next three cars in the fifteen minute outing were also Class A cars and all Falcons. Nick Dunkley and Veijo Phillips were half a second and 1.1secs slower than Russell in their turbos while the XR8 of John Houlder was another tenth away.
Missing from this weekend, the seventh venture of the fledgling Australian Motor Race Series (AMRS) is the Holden Commodore V8 SS of Scott Anderson which had suffered brake problems at previous rounds and it was thought Phillip Island was not the place to have similar woes.
Meanwhile Ryan hopes the turbo problems of the last two outings are behind him and he can convert pole position into a round victory.
Class B is again headed by Colin Osborne in his Toyota Celica, and they are the combination that is leading the championship overall as well as heading the class.
His nearest rival at this stage in team mate Trevor Keene while Allan Shephard (Honda Integra) fights a lone hand from third as his previous round team mate Steve Briffa (Celica) is also a non-starter.
After inflicting a Class C round defeat at Eastern Creek's fourth outing on Daniel Natoli (Proton Satria), Leigh Mertens (Satria) has struck another blow in claiming tenth and class pole.
There is less than half second between them while David Mertens (Holden Vectra) and Dane Rudolf (Citroen Xsara) linger right behind. Just adrift of them is Lauren Gray in the Toyota Sportivo Echo.
Gray emerged from Eastern Creek with her best round result, mixing it up with her class rivals, particularly in the third race. Again Lauren is doing double duties, backing up in Formula 3.
Class C is also without a couple of regulars. Steve Lambrick's Satria was a late withdrawal while the Darren Best Ford Focus is awaiting the arrival of spare parts.
Each round of the Shannons Australian Production Car Championship is contested over three races. The first which is run on Saturday afternoon, is a scratch race with the grid determined from qualifying and points are only awarded to class placings.
The next two races, where points count to both classes and outright, are handicapped and start in class order -- slowest to fastest with the time interval designed to so the front runners in each class finish together. Sunday's first outing sees Class C off scratch, Class B 13 secs later and then Class A at 53 secs. <pre> PHILLIP ISLAND ROUND FIVE QUALIFYING: 1 David Ryan Ford Falcon BA XR6 Turbo 1:53.4498 2 Drew Russell Honda S2000 1:54.3168. 3 Nick Dunkley Ford Falcon BA XR6 Turbo 1:54.8639. 4 Veijo Phillips Ford Falcon BA XR6 Turbo 1:55.6205. 5 John Houlder Ford Falcon BA XR8 1:55.7743. 6 Colin Osborne Toyota Celica 1:58.0209. 7 Trevor Keene Toyota Celica 1:59.9879. 8 Allan Shephard Honda Integra Type R 2:00.4032. 9 Leigh Mertens Proton Satria GTi 2:01.2174. 10 Danial Natoli Proton Satria GTi 2:01.7009. 11 David Mertens Holden Vectra 2:02.0497. 12 Dane Rudolph Citroen Xsara VTS 2:02.2348. 13 Lauren Gray Toyota Echo Sportivo 2:03.4947.