AUSF3: UTE: Symmons: First qualifying report

Viper strikes as Symmons Plains welcomes big-time motorsport back to Tasmania. SYDNEY driver Geoff Morgan stretched the powerful legs of his eight-litre Chrysler Viper to claim the fastest lap time when the glamor cars of the Australian Nations...

Viper strikes as Symmons Plains welcomes big-time motorsport back to Tasmania.

SYDNEY driver Geoff Morgan stretched the powerful legs of his eight-litre Chrysler Viper to claim the fastest lap time when the glamor cars of the Australian Nations Cup Championship hit the Symmons Plains circuit near Launceston today for the first time.

The big American coupe romped around the 2.41 km track in just 55.92 seconds, beating defending Nations Cup champion Jim Richards, in a Porsche, by six-hundredths of a second in the second of two official practice sessions.

Returning to his home track, Devonport-born John Bowe was third-fastest with a time of 56.04 sec. in his $750,000 Ferrari 360 GT, ahead of Hobart's Paul Stokell in a Lamborghini Diablo GTR.

The Nations Cup cars are the stars of a field of around 80 mainland-based vehicles entered for the PROCAR Champ Series, the first major motor racing meeting in Tasmania for several years.

It is being organised by PROCAR Australia and Motorsports Tasmania, which is hoping strong attendance this weekend will reinvigorate racing in Tasmania.

Motorsports Tasmania board member Greg Crick said profits from the meeting would be used to help re-build Symmons Plains and Hobart's Baskerville circuit to national standards.

"Tasmanians love motorsport and after a drought of several years I'm confident we'll get a big crowd this weekend for the PROCAR Champ Series," Mr Crick said.

"We've done a lot of work to improve Symmons Plains and next year we hope Baskerville - one of the best driving and spectating circuits in Australia - will be good enough that we can host a second PROCAR round a week later.

"This whole State is going to survive on tourism. The PROCAR Champ Series is the ideal show for us because it brings so many categories and cars - and all these teams have brought six to eight people per car who are contributing substantially to the local economy."

Fans this weekend will see a total of 16 races in seven categories across a spectrum of racing cars from Ferraris to Falcon utes and international Formula 3 single-seaters.

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About this article
Series Supercars , F3
Drivers Jim Richards , John Bowe , Geoff Morgan , Greg Crick , Paul Stokell
Tags AUSUTE