Nathan Pretty's prospects for round five of the Australian Nations Cup Championship are looking good after he claimed his first pole position in the series in qualifying at Eastern Creek International Raceway, near Sydney, today. Racing this ...
Nathan Pretty's prospects for round five of the Australian Nations Cup Championship are looking good after he claimed his first pole position in the series in qualifying at Eastern Creek International Raceway, near Sydney, today.
Racing this weekend on the 3.9 kilometre circuit for the first time, Pretty set a blistering lap time of 1 minute 32.02 seconds in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Monaro.
"I've been trying a long time and come close, but this is actually my first time on pole in Nations Cup. I'm pretty happy," said Pretty, who joined the series for GT sports cars at the beginning of last year.
Pretty set his time with "green" unused tyres on the Bathurst 24-Hour winning Monaro just seven laps into the session and then waited for a challenge that never came from series leader Paul Stokell.
Stokell's fastest was more than a second slower, but he said it was the best he could extract from his Lamborghini Diablo.
"That was as much as I had, but it wasn't enough. It was as fast as I wanted to go," Stokell said.
"I didn't expect to get hosed off by a second."
The starting grid for the first of two championship heats tomorrow will see James Brock, in another GT class Monaro and David Stevens, in a Porsche GT3 turbo, on the second row.
Peter Brock's son made a strong debut in the family's new "home-built" Monaro, setting a time of 1:34.30.
Theo Koundouris took pole position aboard a Porsche GT3 Cup in the Trophy class.
The Nations Cup will be a highlight of a 14-race program tomorrow.
Other events will be for the Australian GT Performance Championship, Australian Production Car Championship, Poolrite V8 BRutes Series and Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge.
Sunday also will feature a major Ute Muster in support of the V8 BRutes races and displays by several car clubs.
Sydney driver Ric Shaw, in a Mazda RX-7, claimed another pole position in the Australian GT Performance Championship.
His time of 1:40.55 was 0.26 sec. faster than Tim Leahy, who was enjoying his strongest run yet in his factory Volkswagen Golf R32.
The second row of the starting grid for the first of two races tomorrow will be filled byJustin Hemmes, who qualified third in a Subaru Impreza STi, and Leahy's Volkswagen teammate Paul Stokell.
Chris Alajajian, in a Subaru Liberty GT, narrowly beat the onset of rain to qualify first for the Australian Production Car Championship, leaving competitors more than one second behind.
In the Poolrite V8 Brutes Series for racing utes, points leader Damien White took pole in a Team Brock Holden SS.
Luke May was due to start race one tomorrow from pole position after winning the post-qualifying grid ballot, but was excluded by stewards over a weight irregularity in his Ford Falcon XR8.
Pole will be left vacant, with Grant Denyer alone in position two in his Ford.
Australian Nations Cup Championship, Rd 5 (qualifying)
1. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1 min. 32.02sec.
2. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo 1:33.06
3. James Brock (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:34.30
4. David Stevens (NSW) Porsche GT2 1:35.80
5. Ian Palmer (Qld) Holden Monaro 1:36.42
6. D'Arcy Russell (Vic.) 1:36.83
1. Theo Koundouris (ACT) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:38.75
2. Anthony Skinner (NSW) Porsche GT3 1:41.05
3. John Teulan (Qld) Ferrari 360 Challenge 1:41.09
Australian GT Performance Championship, Round 5 (qualifying)
1. Ric Shaw (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1 min. 40.55 sec.
2. Tim Leahy (NSW) Volkswagen Golf R32 1:40.81
3. Justin Hemmes (NSW) Subaru Impreza STi 1:41.73
4. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Volkswagen Golf R32 1:41.74
5. Garry Holt (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:42.80
6. Grant Park (NSW) Subaru Impreza STi 1:43.04
Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, round 5 (qualifying)
1. Damien White (NSW) Holden SS 1 min. 50.98 sec.
2. Jack Elsegood (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1:51.20
3. Marcus Zukanovic (Vic.) Ford 1:51.41
4. Grant Denyer (NSW) Ford 1:52.18
5. Gary Baxter (SA) Holden 1:52.41
6. Benn Wilson (Qld) Holden 1:52.55
Australian Production Car Championship, round 5 (qualifying)
1. Chris Alajajian (NSW) Subaru Liberty GT 1 min.59.00 sec.
2. David Ryan (NSW) Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 2:00.87
3. Scott Loadsman (NSW) Holden Commodore SS 2:01.74
4. Adam Beechey (Tas.) Honda Integra Type R 2:03.08
5. David Russell (NSW) Proton Satria 2:03.95
6. Colin Osborne (NSW) Toyota Celica 2:04.33
Class A -- Chris Alajajian
Class B -- Adam Beechey
Class C -- Leanne Ferrier (Vic.) Toyota Corolla Sportivo 2:05.14
Class D -- David Russell