CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP DARWIN RACE TWO 6th June 1999 RICHARDS SHOWS IT IS NO WALK IN THE PARK Six time Bathurst winner Jim Richards bounced back into the winner's circle in race two of round three of...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
DARWIN RACE TWO 6th June 1999
RICHARDS SHOWS IT IS NO WALK IN THE PARK
Six time Bathurst winner Jim Richards bounced back into the winner's circle in race two of round three of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Darwin's Hidden Valley circuit.
But Ferrari driver Wayne Park showed he could be a force to be reckoned with after a fine drive into second place - holding out the Porsche 911 RSCS of Domenic Beninca.
Beninca won the earlier race but was later excluded by race stewards for "failure to exercise due care" in trying to pass Richards and Fitzgerald. Beninca is expected to appeal against the decision.
He made a fine start in race two but spun off the circuit on the opening lap - leaving Park in the lead.
Park held the lead for the first six laps before Richards found a way past and charged on to victory.
"It was a good result for us to finish second even though we picked it up by default because a couple of people fell off the road but we are still very pleased," Park said.
"We kept the pace up and were there at the finish which is the most important thing.
"Now I have done a few laps in the car I am really starting to feel what it can and can't do and we are looking forward to trying to develop it further."
Peter Fitzgerald had stuck to the tail of the Ferrari star, but spun while trying to force a way past through traffic on lap 13.
Jamie Cartwright's Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo took seventh place after he enjoyed a great battle with the Ford Mustang Saleen of Craig Dean. The Mustang eventually suffered a fuel leak and fell back after the pair clashed late in the race.
Geoff Full stretched his winning run to eight races in a row in the Autobarn Class B division.
The Subaru Impreza WRX driver again accounted for the Mazda RX7 of Paula Elstrek and Mark King's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III.
The Class C battle resulted in a titanic three way battle between the Holden Commodore VS SS of Mark Cohen, the Mitsubishi Maga TH Sports V6 of Rob Chadwick and the Holden Commodore VT SS of Peter Phelan.
Cohen's attack was eventually halted after being pushed wide in traffic, spinning, flat spotting and subsequently blowing a tyre.
Chadwick held on to take the victory. Wayne Russell's BMW 323i grabbed an early lead in Class S, but Ric Shaw fought back to take the victory aboard his Toyota MR2 Bathurst.
Sam Newman had an inglorious finish to his Class D debut aboard the Holden Vectra GL 2.2 - spinning off the circuit and into a tyre wall after contact with another car.
Phil Kirkham held on to take the Class D victory aboad his Mazda 626 while Class E was again taken out by Kosi Kalaitzidis in a Proton M21 Coupe after Nathan Thomas was forced out with gearbox problems and a broken fuel rail in his Suzuki Swift GTi.
RESULTS RACE TWO 18 LAPS 1. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 23:50.846 2. Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) 23:52.298 3. Domenic Beninca, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 23:52.520 4. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:10.164 5. Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 24:16.920 Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1 lap Class C Rob Chadwick, Mitsubishi Magna TH 2 laps Class D Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 2 laps Class E Kosi Kalaitzidis, Proton M21 Coupe 3 laps Class S Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathust 1 lap
OUTRIGHT: Richards 71.5, Beninca 62, Fitzgerald 41, Cartwright 31, Aitken 30, Bosnjak 27, Park 24, Morgan 22
CLASS A: Richards 67.5 CLASS B: Full 82.5 CLASS C: Phelan 58 CLASS D: M. Kirkham 30, P. Kirkham 30, CLASS E: Hughes 52 CLASS S: Shaw 74
COMPLETE RESULTS http://www.racetime.com.au/racedata/h9927/r14res.htm
FURTHER NEWS: http://www.gtprod.com.au/