THE 2003 Australian GT Performance Championship wrapped up today at the Gold Coast Indy in the style it has seen all season - with a mighty scrap all the way to the chequered flag. The final race was a showdown for third overall between ...
THE 2003 Australian GT Performance Championship wrapped up today at the Gold Coast Indy in the style it has seen all season - with a mighty scrap all the way to the chequered flag.
The final race was a showdown for third overall between Holden driver Peter Floyd and Garry Holt, in a Subaru, the championship and second place having been decided already in favor of Mark King and Wayne Boatwright respectively.
Floyd was in the lead and on course to take the position until the last corner, when a desperate lunge by Subaru's Justin Hemmes pushed him back to second -- and defaulted the prize to Holt.
Hemmes' move caused Floyd to tag the wall at the hairpin and the Holden missed the win by just half a car length. Stewards reviewed the incident, but took no action.
Holt finished only 12 th, but achieved enough points to clinch third for the year.
"We've struggled with engine problems all weekend. I knew we didn't have the speed to win races, so I just cruised around consolidating points and hoped that Floyd wouldn't win," Holt said.
"We've worked hard on the handling of the car this year and it's really shown up on the other circuits this year. It's a good reward to come third in the championship."
Floyd took the round after winning the first and second races, Hemmes was second overall and Ford Falcon TE50 driver John Falk was third.
Today's race ended one of the most competitive GTP seasons on record. The 23 races saw wins by seven different drivers in five different car makes.
RESULTS (Race 3, round 8)
1. Justin Hemmes (NSW) Subaru STi
2. Peter Floyd (Vic.) Holden GTS
3. Mark King (Qld) Mitsubishi Evo
4. John Falk (Vic.) Ford Falcon TE50
5. Graham Alexander (Vic.) Mitsubishi Evo
6. Kenny Habul (Qld) BMW M Coupe
* Championship points (final): 350 King, 311 Boatwright, 222 Holt, 219 Floyd, 206 Hemmes, 200 Falk.