ASTC: Bathurst Qualifying

New Zealand Touring Cars to Bathurst 2nd October 1998 For Immediate Release Friday Qualifying The final qualifying session for this Sunday's AMP Bathurst 1000 endurance race was severely shortened as elation turned to tragedy for the NZ...

New Zealand Touring Cars to Bathurst

2nd October 1998

For Immediate Release

Friday Qualifying

The final qualifying session for this Sunday's AMP Bathurst 1000 endurance race was severely shortened as elation turned to tragedy for the NZ Suzuki Baleno Team. For the second time this week, their car was involved in a major incident on the mountain, that brought out the pace car and halted the session while the track was cleared. A super human effort by the Suzuki Baleno Team and the TAFFE Smash Repair Crew had got the Suzuki Baleno, severely damaged in Wednesday's Practice, back on the track in an effort to record a qualifying time. If the car can be repaired by Sunday, their time of 2:55.06 should be fast enough to see them start the race.

The BMW 320i pairing of Jason Richards and Barrie Thomlinson are the top qualifiers amongst the Kiwi S Schedule Touring Cars. Richards lap time of 2:34.85, recorded on Thursday has placed them 23 on the grid, but not before he had a spectacular off into the sand trap coming onto the main straight. Ian Spurle in the Prestige Motorsport Nissan Sentra SSS gave the BMWs a fright with a rapidly improving time of 2:37.67 to place his team second fastest. The second BMW 320i of Rod Hicks and Kevin Bell secured third fastest with a 2:38.77.

All the teams are confident about the reliability of their cars for Sunday's race, with the aim of Saturday's practice session to fine tune pit stops and bed in equipment.

Tony Bunyan Email editor@nztouringcars.co.nz

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Jason Richards , Barrie Thomlinson , Kevin Bell , Rod Hicks