Gold Coast Preview

COURIER MAIL GTP CLASSIC - OCTOBER 15 - 18 HONDA INDY PREVIEW 13th SEPTEMBER 1998 BATHURST WINNING "RICHO" BACK TO GTP Bathurst Super Touring victor Jim Richards is set to return to the GT Production action next weekend when he climbs aboard...




Bathurst Super Touring victor Jim Richards is set to return to the GT Production action next weekend when he climbs aboard a new Porsche 911 RSCS for the Courier Mail GTP Classic on the streets of Surfers Paradise at the Honda Indy.

The 1995 Australian GT Production Car champion has not competed regularly in GTP since 1996, but Richards is eyeing a return to the category for 1999.

"I am really looking forward to getting back involved in GTP, it is a really great category to compete in," Richards said.

"It's going to be a lot of fun, particularly around the Indy circuit where I have had a lot of success in the past. We could do with a few more miles on the car before the event, so it will be a bit of an on-going test session over the four days.

"The category has really gone ahead in leaps and bounds since I last contested the championship back in 1996 and I am sure it is going to be a couple of really tough races.

"There is not a lot of room to move around Indy and even though the races are short, traffic could be a factor with a strong field right through the classes."

While the veteran Richards goes into battle at Indy, his major opposition looks set to be a pair of young guns who are fresh from victory lane.

Dean Canto will again climb aboard the Maserati Ghibli he drove to victory in the OAMPS Insurance Endurance Classic with Alfredo Costanzo while Rodney Forbe's pair of victories in the Bathurst Porsche Cup events last week also marks him as a man to beat.

Other Class A hopefuls keen for strong results on the streets of Surfers include local drivers Jamie Cartwright and Bob Thorn (both armed with Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo machines), and John Teulan aboard his Nissan Skyline GT-R Turbo 4WD.

Class B will again showcase the driving talents of Iron Man legend Grant Kenny who will contest the event aboard Scott Jacob's Subaru Impreza WRX.

Kenny will be up against the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III Turbo machines of local drivers Mark King and John Trimbole while Queensland Newspaper's Chief Executive, John Cowley, will be keen for a strong showing in the event bearing one of his publication's name aboard his HSV GTS-R.

Chris Sexton and Denis Cribbin return to Class C armed with an AU and EL Ford Falcon XR6 respectively. They will do battle with Mark Cohen's Holden Commodore VS SS and David Ratcliff's Toyota Camry CSi.

However, the streets of Surfers Paradise are not confined to the men doing battle either. GTP regular Carol Jackson and rookie Sue Hughes will uphold the honour of the ladies with Jackson running her Honda Civic VTi-R in Class D and Hughes debuting in a Suzuki Swift GTi in Class E.

Aaron McGill will start favourite to grab the Class E win while the new GTP Sports - Class S division will be a fight between Gold Coast locals Beric Lynton and Michael Simpson - both equipped with BMW 323i racers.

ENTRIES CLASS A 3 Dean Canto Maserati Ghibli Twin Turbo 11 Jamie CartwrightToyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo 24 Marcus Marshall Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo 26 Ross Almond Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo V 27 TBA Ferrari F355 Challenge 30 Perry Spiridis Ferrari F355 Challenge 40 Jim Richards Porsche 911 RSCS 45 John Teulan Nissan Skyline GT-R Turbo 4WD 64 Bob Thorn Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo 85 Rodney Forbes Porsche 911 RSCS

CLASS B 2 John Cowley HSV GTS-R 215i 25 Richard Davis HSV GTS-R 215i 34 Mark King Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo III 47 John Trimbole Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo III 51 Grant Kenny Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 91 Gary Deane Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo

CLASS C 55 Mark Cohen Holden Commodore VS SS V8 77 Chris Sexton Ford Falcon AU XR6 88 David Ratcliff Toyota Camry CSi V6 99 Denis Cribbin Ford Falcon EL XR6

CLASS D 10 Carol Jackson Honda Civic Vti-R 43 Calvin Gardiner Mazda 626

CLASS E 75 Aaron McGill Suzuki Swift GTi 76 Sue Hughes Suzuki Swift GTi 80 Wayne Murphy Suzuki Swift GTi 98 Nigel Williams Suzuki Swift GTi

CLASS S 23 Beric Lynton BMW 323i 32 Michael Simpson BMW 323i

Paul Ryan

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Series Supercars
Drivers Ryan Paul , Denis Cribbin , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Dean Canto , Rodney Forbes , John Teulan , Beric Lynton , Jamie Cartwright , Mark King , Aaron McGill , Mark Cohen , David Ratcliff , Gary Deane , Nigel Williams , Mike Simpson
Teams Williams , Nissan Motorsport