MAZDA driver Shaw maintained his strong form by topping official practice sessions today for round six of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Oran Park, NSW. With a best lap time of 1 minute 18.04 seconds, Shaw...
MAZDA driver Shaw maintained his strong form by topping official practice sessions today for round six of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship at Oran Park, NSW.
With a best lap time of 1 minute 18.04 seconds, Shaw showed the pace he will need on Sunday to defend his lead in the championship - but only after he survived a surprise challenge from a series newcomer with a team of volunteer crew members from his car club.
Wayne Boatwright had not raced on the 2.62 km circuit since August 1994, when he finished the day in an ambulance after crashing his Formula Ford single-seater and breaking a leg.
Today, he was just 0.3 sec. slower than Shaw in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi built and crewed by fellow members of the New South Wales WRX Club, and faster than Mitsubishi Lancer driver Mark King, who has won five of the past six races.
"This is just our second race in the car and we're very happy to be where we are," Boatwright said.
King used old tyres and said he expected to be faster with new rubber for qualifying tomorrow.
Wayne Russell (BMW 323i), James Philip (Falcon XR8), Darl Coon (Falcon XR6) and Nathan Thomas (Suzuki Swift GTi) topped the times in their respective classes in a total field of 40 cars. <pre> RESULTS: Outright Lap time 1. Ric Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 1:18.04 2. Wayne Boatwright (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 1:18.34 3. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 1:18.41 4. Graham Alexander (Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo V) 1:18.56 5. Jim McKnoulty (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) 1:19.13 6. Ed Aitken (Holden Commodore HSV GTS300) 1:19.21 Class Autobarn High Perf.: Ric Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 1:18.04 Hippies Sports Touring: Wayne Russell (BMW 323i) 1:20.94 Pennzoil V8 Touring: James Philip (Ford Falcon XR8) 1:21.92 Pennzoil Six-cyl. Touring: Daryl Coon (Ford Falcon XR6) 1:22.18 Poolrite Four-cyl. Touring: Nathan Thomas (Suzuki Swift GTi) 1:23.72
TIMETABLE: Saturday 10.10 am - Qualifying (30 min.), 1.30 pm - Practice 1 (15 min.). Sunday 10 am - Race (15 min.), 2.05 pm - Race (20 min.).