Sandown first qualifying notes

First Qualifying - Round Five -- Sandown Raceway -- September 12-14 Ricciardello quickest in first of two sessions for provisional top spot Whilst he cannot win the title this year, reigning REWARDS INSURANCE Australian Sports Sedan Champion,...

First Qualifying - Round Five -- Sandown Raceway -- September 12-14

Ricciardello quickest in first of two sessions for provisional top spot Whilst he cannot win the title this year, reigning REWARDS INSURANCE Australian Sports Sedan Champion, Tony Ricciardello has put his rivals on notice with a blistering first qualifying session lap of 1 min 8.9444 seconds and claimed provisional pole.

His Chevrolet V8-powered Alfa Romeo was just over two tenths of a second faster than the Saab/Chev of round four winner Darren Hossack. It is the final round of the 2003 series which is supporting the Melbourne 500 for V8 Supercars at Sandown Raceway on September 12-14 and both drivers will also be competing in that event.

Hossack who leads the seriers-within-a-series Trans Tasman Challenge where Australia Sports Sedans are pitted against the American-inspired New Zealand Tranzam cars, narrowly outpointed Kiwi Kayne Scott in his Chev Corvette who was third overall.

Kerry Baily in his Nissan 300ZX/Chev and leading the ASSC, was fourth fastest and needs only two points to secure the title. "This is a nervous time for me, I can't afford to be too conservative and at the same time, I have to stay out trouble," he said.

The NZ Chev Corvette that Jonny McIntyre won two of the three TTA heats (over two rounds) during the year, was next. But McIntyre's drive had been taken over by multiple Tranzam champion Shane Drake. McIntyre in the meantime has decided to pursue a Trans-Tasman Porsche GT3 drive in New Zealand.

Six placed Dean Randle is looking to sure up second in the championship with another run in his Saab/Chev while Kiwi Bernie Gillon is hoping to overcome an aerodynamic-induced problem that is forcing the Ford Mustang's bonnet down and jamming open his throttle.

With only one meeting under his belt, Mick Monterosso returns to the series for provisional ninth in the Ford Escort/Chev, to be ahead of the sparsely raced ex-V8 Supercar Holden Commodore of David Krause, and Dean Camm in his Honda Prelude/Chev.

Seven Future Tourers were also racing at this round of the championship as an invited group. Ray Sidebottom's Holden Commodore VX in 20th, was just ahead of Ford Falcon AU of Andrew Gillespie and the VY Commodore of Geoff Parker.

ROUND FIVE SCHEDULE
Saturday September 13: Qualifying Two 10:40, Race One 16:15.
Sunday September 14: Race Two 8:45.

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Series General
Drivers Darren Hossack , Kayne Scott , Andrew Gillespie , Geoff Parker , Tony Ricciardello