Ferrari claims Nations Cup pole in Adelaide

(Fri.) 7 April 2000 / Round 1, Qualifying - Adelaide, SA FERRARI driver Mark Noske claimed an exciting pole position - and the very first championship point - in qualifying for the first round of the new Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup...

(Fri.) 7 April 2000 / Round 1, Qualifying - Adelaide, SA

FERRARI driver Mark Noske claimed an exciting pole position - and the very first championship point - in qualifying for the first round of the new Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup series in Adelaide today.

Noske, 25, from Melbourne, whipped his $350,000 Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge around the 3.22 km street course in 1 minute 31.63 seconds, taking the first grid position in a desperate effort on the last of 17 laps.

He got there just 18/100 ths of a second ahead of Porsche GT3 driver Jim Richards, with the Lamborghini Diablo SVR of Paul Stokell in third spot.

Darren Palmer, in another Ferrari F360, completed the second row of the grid for tomorrow¹s 12-lap race, the first of two this weekend in the new eight-round national series for ultra-performance GT production cars.

"I'm pretty pleased to have beaten Jim Richards today, but it will be more important to beat him tomorrow to the first corner - he¹s a pretty hard guy to pass," Noske said.

Stokell, a three-time Australian Gold Star driving champion, was pleased with third in the 500 horsepower Lamborghini, but said he was concerned a 100 kg weight handicap imposed by organisers would affect his brakes tomorrow.

"With this weight on board we can't do more than two laps in a row without the brakes running out - I'm a bit worried about burying myself in the back of a Ferrari," he said.

The expected challenge from the eight-litre Dodge Vipers has failed to happen so far, Mike Conway the fastest of the group in 14th starting position.

The first-ever GTP Nations Cup race, featuring a 21-car field, will be shown live on Network Ten television tomorrow afternoon. <pre> QUALIFYING TIMES: 1. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:31.63 2. Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:31.81 3. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) 1:32.41 4. Darren Palmer (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:33.04 5. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:33.19 6. Wayne Park (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:33.56

TIMETABLE: Sat. 1 pm - race (12 laps). Sun. 11.15 am - race (14 laps).

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Mike Conway , Mark Noske , Peter Fitzgerald , Paul Stokell , Wayne Park