CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP CALDER PRACTICE 23rd JULY 1999 BENINCA BURNS THE MIDNIGHT OIL FOR PORSCHE RETURN The tireless crew of reigning Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Champion Domenic ...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
CALDER PRACTICE 23rd JULY 1999
BENINCA BURNS THE MIDNIGHT OIL FOR PORSCHE RETURN
The tireless crew of reigning Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Champion Domenic Beninca have worked through the night to ensure his Porsche 911 RSCS made it back on track for round six of the Championship this weekend.
After badly damaging the car in a dramatic crash at Sandown four weeks ago, Beninca’s crew finally finished repairing the car at 3.30am today.
Beninca was sixth fastest in both practice sessions today in what he describes as an initial shake-down run for the repaired car.
"I went to bed at around midnight but the boys kept working to make sure everything was completed in time," Beninca said.
"It is great to be back aboard the Porsche and I think we will be fine tomorrow now we have put a couple of laps on the car."
Beninca has proven to be a dominant force at the Calder circuit, winning his first ever GTP race here two years ago and dominating last year’s event.
Jim Richards and Peter Fitzgerald led the two practice sessions today aboard similar Porsche machines while Wayne Park also impressed to be fourth and fifth fastest in the two sessions.
Park stood aside from the Ferrari for the last round of the Championship at Queensland Raceway, allowing Beninca to take over the machine to keep his championship chase alive.
Craig Dean showed his best form of the year aboard the Ford Mustang Saleen to be seventh fastest in the afternoon while GTP-returnee Paul Freestone was eighth fastest in the later session aboard the Lotus Esprit Sport 300 in the Meguiar’s Class A division.
Mark King was the fastest man in the Autobarn Class B division with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III after points leader Geoff Full struck engine problems aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX.
Peter Phelan (Holden Commodore VT SS) continued his strong run in the ever-expanding Class C division which has been boosted by the debut of NASCAR racer Daryl Coon (Ford Falcon AU XR6), Warren Millett (Holden Commodore VT SS) and Brian Carr (Ford Falcon AU XR8).
After a disastrous last round, Ric Shaw’s Toyota MR2 Bathurst was back on the Class S pace ahead of BMW 323i racer Wayne Russell.
After challenging fellow Footy Show celebrity Dermott Brereton to a match race last night, Sam Newman showed impressive pace aboard his Holden Vectra GL 2.2.
While Phil Kirkham’s Mazda 626 headed the times, Newman out-paced his team-mate Melinda Price for the first time this year.
Class E front-runner Nathan Thomas was again fastest while team-mates Sue Hughes and Craig Dontas shared Hughes’ cars during the afternoon after Dontas struck mechanical problems aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi.
RESULTS SESSION ONE 1. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.232 2. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.868 3. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.928 4. - Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge - 1:01.971 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:06.345 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:07.865 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:13.327 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:12.712 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst - 1:09.023
SESSION TWO 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.014 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.738 3. - Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:01.949 4. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:02.013 Class B - Mark King, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III - 1:06.023 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:07.712 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:12.890 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:12.582 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 - 1:09.406
Paul Ryan http://www.gtprod.com.au/