FERRARI driver Mark Noske maintained his familiar position at the head of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup field with fastest time in the first practice sessions for round three in Canberra today. Noske, leading the Meguiar's Top...
FERRARI driver Mark Noske maintained his familiar position at the head of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup field with fastest time in the first practice sessions for round three in Canberra today.
Noske, leading the Meguiar's Top Marques Drivers Championship with two wins from four starts so far this season, steered his Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge around a 4.0 km temporary street course in 1 minute 51.55 seconds.
Jim Richards was second fastest with a time of 1:52.48 in a Porsche 911 GT3, while Wayne Park drove his new Ferrari F360 impressively to claim third spot in 1:52.96.
On the sometimes narrow and bumpy track, today's performance gave Noske the psychological advantage for what maybe the most challenging event of the year. The 22-car field of ultra-performance GT production cars will compete in a qualifying session and a 15-minute race tomorrow, followed by two 20-minute races on Sunday.
"So far I'm having a lot of fun. It's a great location, a fantastic circuit and the atmosphere is incredible," he said. "But when we get on the track tomorrow, I'll be more concerned about using any advantage I may have and having a clean race. I hope everyone uses their head."
Two-time GTP champion Peter Fitzgerald was happy to be fourth-fastest in his Porsche GT3, but said he expected to be even quicker tomorrow.
"We're looking for a good qualifying position and then to make the best of our Porsche's ability to make a faster start in the race than the Ferraris," Fitzgerald said.
Lamborghini's Paul Stokell, sixth today, said he expected the Porsches would be hard to beat.
<pre> RESULTS: 1. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:51.55 2. Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:52.48 3. Wayne Park (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:52.96 4. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:53.23 5. Peter Bradbury (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:53.35 6. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) 1:53.38
TIMETABLE: Saturday 10.20 am - Qualifying (20 min.), 2.10 pm - Race 1 (15 min.); Sunday 10.10 am - Race 2 (20 min., reverse grid), 1.45 pm - Race 3 (20 min.).