CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 9th APRIL 1999 ETSA POWER GTP - SENSATIONAL ADELAIDE 500 RICHARDS TAKES ADELAIDE NIGHT BATTLE Amid glowing brakes, flaming exhausts and glaring headlights, Jim Richards dominated...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
9th APRIL 1999 ETSA POWER GTP - SENSATIONAL ADELAIDE 500
RICHARDS TAKES ADELAIDE NIGHT BATTLE
Amid glowing brakes, flaming exhausts and glaring headlights, Jim Richards dominated the Adelaide night to take victory in the ETSA Power GTP event at the Sensational Adelaide 500 tonight.
Richards' star shone bright as he led from flag to flag to head home fellow Porsche 911 RSCS drivers Geoff Morgan and Ed Aitken.
Promising young star Darren Palmer pulled out a strong drive to finish 4th aboard a Ferrari F355 Challenge after having to start from the rear of the grid when he broke a driveshaft in qualifying.
Beric Lynton's BMW M3-R Coupe also showed promising speed under the moonlit sky to finish 5th.
"The car ran faultlessly and I'm thrilled to win the event under lights," Richards said.
"It was quite surprising because I would have thought the headlights would have worked really well, but it was really hard to see.
"You couldn't quite see the apex of the turns in a couple of spots but it was great fun and I am sure it provided a great show for the fans."
Morgan and Aitken fought out a race long battle with Morgan eventually gaining the upper hand after a mid- race safety car period.
"We had a fantastic race and I actually got past Ed just before the safety car came out but ran a little wide and almost stalled the car on the way out of the Brabham Straight hairpin," Morgan said.
"Once we got back racing again, I had another go at the same spot and got it right."
Perry Spiridis' Maserati Ghibli ran off the circuit just after half-race distance, forcing race officials to bring out the safety car while the Italian machine was retrieved.
Richards pushed hard when the race resumed, opening a gap to his opposition that could not be breached.
Geoff Full dominated Class B, taking 6th outright in his Subaru Impreza WRX while Paula Elstrek performed impressively to grab second aboard a Mazda RX7 with John Cowley's HSV GTS-R in third place.
Mark Cohen performed strongly to take Class C aboard his Holden Commodore VS SS while David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) eventually grabbed the upper hand over local driver Rob Chadwick (Mitsubishi Magna TH Sports).
Michael Simpson starred in Class S, taking ninth outright on his way to a class victory aboard a BMW 323i.
GTP Lights Class E front-runner Kosi Kalaitzidis continued on his winning ways from Bathurst last year to take victory in Adelaide.
In his first race for the year, the Melbourne driver toppled young local driver Craig Dontas aboard a Suzuki Swift GTi.
RESULTS ETSA POWER GTP 1-HOUR 35 laps 1. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:00.28.750 2. Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:00.34.442 3. Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:00.34.992 4. Darren Palmer, Ferrari F355
Challenge (A) 1 lap 5. Beric Lynton, BMW M3-R Coupe (A) 1 lap Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1 lap Class C Mark Cohen, Holden Commodore VS SS 3 laps Class E Kosi Kalaitzidis, Proton M21 Coupe 4 laps Class S Michael Simpson, BMW 323i 2 laps