Title leader out-points Fitzgerald and Marshall in shortened session. JIM Richards can wrap up the 2003 Carrera Cup on the streets of the Gold Coast this weekend at the Lexmark Indy 300 and the seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner has wasted no time...
Title leader out-points Fitzgerald and Marshall in shortened session.
JIM Richards can wrap up the 2003 Carrera Cup on the streets of the Gold Coast this weekend at the Lexmark Indy 300 and the seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner has wasted no time today by taking pole position for this weekend's eighth round of the all-Porsche series.
Richards lapped the 4.5-kilometre street layout in 1m57.6609s, just over one second faster than fellow veteran Peter Fitzgerald's ENJO Porsche, which is sporting additional sponsorship this weekend from Acer Computers.
Richards, driving the #5 OAMPS Insurance/Greenfield Mowers Porsche GT3, needs to be at least 180 points in front of Gold Coaster Marcus Marshall at the completion of this weekend's round to clinch the inaugural Carrera Cup in Australia.
Marshall, who sits second in the title and leads the Rookie of the Year pointscore, qualified third today. The 25-year-old will start alongside Victorian Rodney Jane on the second row of the grid. The result is Jane's best qualifying result of the season.
The 20-minute qualifying session was reduced to a mad lap dash after the session was shortened due to an accident involving Tim Leahey.
The Braun-backed Greg Murphy Racing driver crashed at the Bartercard Esses, leaving his team little time to attempt to repair his car in time for today's first race. The Orange-based racer isn't expected to be able to take up his 26th grid position in today's event.
Gold Coast drivers were well represented today, Charlie O'Brien fifth fastest in his WPS Financial Group car, while fellow Gold Coast racer Tony Quinn was eighth quickest in the #32 VIP Petfoods machine.
Quinn's son, Klark, was a lowly 17th in qualifying, fresh from his fourth place finish in the last round of the series at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. The 21-year-old is debuting new backing from Quick'n Tuff Wall Systems on his #23 RT Motorsport machine.
New Zealand drivers Paul Pedersen and Kevin Bell were both in the top 10, Pedersen sixth and Bell ninth, while Peter Hill rounded out the top 10 in the #66 Greg Murphy Racing Team Braun car.
In a fantastic turn-around of fortune, South Australian Greg Keene, who heavily damaged his car in an incident in the last round at Bathurst two weeks ago, has his strongest qualifying session of the season, placing his #8 SportsMed SA car 11th in the order.
Returning to the championship after missing the Bathurst round, James Dutton was 13th fastest, while Matt Coleman, who is sporting backing from Lexmark this weekend, missed a chicane on his hot lap and will start further back in the order than he would like in 15th.
26 cars qualified for today's eighth round of the Carrera Cup. Featuring identical Porsche GT3 Cup cars producing 400 horsepower each, the series is the primary support to the V8 Supercar Championship Series and will end at the VIP Petfoods Main Event at Eastern Creek in four weeks' time.
Race one will be run today at 3.00pm. Race two will be on Friday at 8.20am, with the final race on Saturday to be run at 8.35am.
<pre> Top 10 Positions - Qualifying Pos No Driver Car/Team Time 1 5 Jim Richards OAMPS/Greenfield Mowers 1:57.6609 2 33 Peter Fitzgerald ENJO/Fitzgerald Racing 1:58.8546 3 31 Marcus Marshall VIP Pet Foods Racing 1:59.8442 4 7 Rodney Jane Bob Jane T-Marts/Rodney Jane Racing 2:00.2785 5 15 Charlie O'Brien WPS Financial Group/Int Motorsport NZ 2:00.3214 6 96 Paul Pedersen LakeSawn Lumber/Int' Motorsport NZ 2:00.4146 7 22 Jonathon Webb Tekno Autosports 2:00.5369 8 32 Tony Quinn VIP Pet Foods Racing 2:00.6805 9 86 Kevin Bell Gtech Bellmor/Int' Motorsport NZ 2:00.8050 10 66 Peter Hill Greg Murphy Racing -- Team Braun 2:01.0249