Chief Minister shows Viper the way around Canberra course

DAREDEVIL Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Kate Carnell has parachuted from planes, abseiled down a tall building and flown in a hot-air balloon, but when she rode around the streets of her capital city today in a fire-breathing...

DAREDEVIL Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Kate Carnell has parachuted from planes, abseiled down a tall building and flown in a hot-air balloon, but when she rode around the streets of her capital city today in a fire-breathing Dodge Viper racing coupe she described it as the experience of a lifetime.

Mrs Carnell took the passenger seat of the monster.com team Viper of Sydney driver Geoff Morgan as he raced around the GMC400 temporary street circuit in Canberra at speeds up to 180 kmh.

"Wow! That was the most fantastic experience I've ever had," she said after two laps of the 4.0 km track.

"The track is fantastic and the atmosphere all the way around is fantastic."

Morgan's eight-litre Dodge Viper is one of the stars of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup, a national championship for exotic ultra-performance production GT cars, which will stage three races this weekend.

He said the Chief Minister, whose government has backed the historic GMC400 event, had been a calm and helpful passenger, showing him the way around the unfamiliar track.

"She was indicating to me which way to go and was very calm. In fact, I was probably more scared at times - my eyes were bigger than hers as I tried to keep the car between the concrete walls."

Morgan, chairman of management recruiting company Morgan & Banks and a champion racing driver, said he had invited Mrs Carnell to take the ride in his eight-litre coupe because he had heard she was a motorsport enthusiast.

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Series Supercars
Drivers Geoff Morgan