FHOLDEN: Wills and Murchison share front row for title showdown

2000 Holden Australian Drivers Championship Mallala Motorsport Park, South Australia Round 8 Qualifying - For Immediate Release http://www.fholden.asn.au 26th August 2000 All is set for the final round of the 2000 Holden Australian ...

2000 Holden Australian Drivers Championship
Mallala Motorsport Park, South Australia
Round 8 Qualifying - For Immediate Release
http://www.fholden.asn.au
26th August 2000

All is set for the final round of the 2000 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship, after the top two championship contenders claimed the prized front row starting spots for tomorrow's pair of 15 lap races at South Australia's Mallala Motorsport Park.

Defending champion Simon Wills pipped his only title adversary Christian Murchison for the coveted starting spot by just 0.06s, after the NRC driver recorded his best lap on his final timed run. Wills however, showed great consistency by recording three almost identical 1:02.4s laps and will be hoping to put the championship out of Murchison's reach in tomorrow's first race. With thirty points between the pair, Wills needs a fourth place finish to secure the coveted CAMS Gold Star even if Murchison takes the win. Murchison will need to win both events and have Wills fail in one and finish worse than fourth in the other to snare a long-odds win, but as they say in motor racing anything can, and probably will happen.

A surprise third fastest was 17-year-old Victorian Paul Dumbrell, who, after a strong run in testing at Mallala recently, traded times with Wills during the early part of the session. Frustratingly, he was unable to improve in the dying stages of the twice interrupted - and Red Flagged - session, and fell to the advances of Murchison right at the end. Matthew Halliday maintained his consistent run of late with fourth, having never seen the circuit before and Dale Brede claimed fifth, making the NRC team the only two-car combination in the top five. Steve Owen was sixth ahead of Peter Hill, who impressed onlookers with a very rapid 1:03.8s lap to claim a career-best seventh. His time - the Silver Star pole, a whopping 1.2s and three spots quicker than fellow Silver Star title contender Ian Peters.

Wills' pole was the tenth of his career, but his Birrana team mates Brenton Ramsay and LeRoy Stevenson endured a horror run. Ramsay pirouetted into the pit-lane wall mid-session and wound up ninth, while Stevenson will face a rear of grid start after a fuel pump failed after just two laps. Seventeen cars will face the starter for tomorrow's final two races of what has been an enthralling eight round, sixteen-race championship season.

<pre> Top Ten Qualifiers - Determines Grid For Race 1 on Sunday 12:10pm

Pos Driver                Team                   Car             Fastest        Gap
1   Simon Wills           Birrana Racing         Reynard 94D     1:02.4132
2   Christian Murchison   NRC Racing             Reynard 95D     1:02.4783     -0.0651
3   Paul Dumbrell         Kmart Racing           Reynard 93D     1:02.9123     -0.4991
4   Matthew Halliday      Ralt Challenge Racing  Reynard 94D     1:03.0860     -0.6728
5   Dale Brede            NRC Racing             Reynard 95D     1:03.2922     -0.8790
6   Steve Owen            Hocking Motorsport     Reynard 97D     1:03.7885     -1.3753
7   Peter Hill            Murphy Motorsport      Reynard 95D     1:03.8925     -1.4973
8   Stuart Kostera        Hocking Motorsport     Reynard 97D     1:04.7949     -2.3817
9   Brenton Ramsay        Birrana Racing         Reynard 95D     1:04.8966     -2.4834
10  Ian Peters            Camtech Racing         Reynard 91D     1:05.0588     -2.6427

Simon Wills' qualifying time represents an average speed of 150 km/h Current Lap Record is 1:02.5700 set 07/08/94 by Paul Stokell Reynard 91D

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Matthew Halliday , Simon Wills , Dale Brede , Steve Owen , Paul Dumbrell , Paul Stokell , Peter Hill , Christian Murchison , Stuart Kostera