GTP Classic Held During Gold Coast Indy Weekend

COURIER MAIL GTP CLASSIC - GOLD COAST INDY 5th August 1998 THE COURIER-MAIL SUPPORTS GTP CLASSIC..... The Gold Coast Indy on-track program has been boosted with the official announcement of The Courier-Mail GTP Classic as a support category...



The Gold Coast Indy on-track program has been boosted with the official announcement of The Courier-Mail GTP Classic as a support category for the October 15-18 event.

GT Production car racing has gone through a boom period in Australia in the last couple of years and offers tremendous production-based competition for drivers and spectators alike. The Gold Coast Indy entry list, which is split across six classes, will be one of the strongest fields of GTP cars ever assembled.

Just some of the cars competing will include Class A exotic machines such as a Ferrari F355 Challenge, Porsche 911 RSCS, Dodge Viper, Maserati Ghibli, Toyota Supra RZ, Lotus Esprit Sport 300, Nissan 300ZX, Subaru Sti, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V and a Mazda RX7 SP.

The other five classes will cater for a range of vehicles including a Nissan GTiR 4WD, Subaru Impreza WRX, Nissan 200SX, Toyota Camry, Mitsubishi Magna, Holden Commodore SS, Mazda 626, Suzuki Swift, BMW 323I, Mazda MX5, MGF and a Toyota MR2.

The GTP cars join the V8 Supercars, Porsche Cup and HQ Holdens to form a strong support program to the Champ Cars which will be competing in the 18th and penultimate round of the Fed Ex Championship Series.

Queensland Newpapers Managing Director, Mr John Cowley, who is a member of the Gold Coast Indy Partnership Management Committee and a competitor in the Australian GTP series, took great pride in announcing his company's support of The Courier-Mail GTP Classic.

"I see strong exposure through for The Courier-Mail through this sponsorship," said Mr Cowley, who will drive a HSV GTS-R Holden Commodore in Class B.

"Because I have been personally involved in racing for the last four years, I have seen its effectiveness as a successful marketing medium.

"The Courier-Mail GTP Classic will feature several star drivers including our own Car 98 columnist John Bowe, reigning champion Peter Fitzgerald and up and coming stars such as Domenic Benica, Rodney Forbes and Paul Stokell.

"And I won't be the only businessman taking part in the race - Peter Boylan, David Ratcliff and Ross Almond are just three of the drivers who are heavily involved in the corporate sector."

The Courier-Mail GTP Classic will involve two practice sessions on Thursday, a 30-minute qualifying session on Friday and 12-lap sprint races on both Saturday and Sunday.

PROCAR Chief Executive, Mr Bill West, says he was delighted to come to an agreement with Gold Coast Indy organisers to have his category as part of one of Australia's biggest international sporting events.

"The GTP race at the Gold Coast Indy provides us with an ideal opportunity to showcase our category before a new and exciting audience," said Mr West.

"Many of the cars in our championship are no stranger to the streets of Surfers Paradise, in fact they drive these roads every day of the year.

"With our class coming virtually straight off the showroom floor, Indy fans will get an ideal opportunity to see how their road car would perform in a race situation.

"From Ferrari to Ford, Holden to Honda, Porsche to Proton and Subaru to Suzuki...whatever you drive on the road, you will see it in action during The Courier-Mail GTP Classic.

"All the GTP team are thrilled to also have The Courier-Mail on board as the sponsor of this event. The pages of The Courier-Mail have been a major supporter of the Century Batteries Australian GTP Production Car Championship and I am sure the event will provide major exposure for the newspaper and many on track thrills for its readers."

Gold Cost Indy Chairman, Mr Terry Jackman, says the GTP cars will add further variety to a support program which will provide tremendous entertainment for thousands of race fans expected to converge on the Surfers Paradise street circuit.

"There is no doubt that GTP racing has developed tremendously in the last couple of years and it is great to have such a professional organisation as PROCAR part of our event," said Mr Jackman.

"I think the variety that GTP racing offers will appeal to a broad range of race fans.

"The Courier-Mail has also been a strong supporter of our event for many years and the company's support of this category is further proof of their commitment."

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Series Supercars
Drivers John Bowe , Rodney Forbes , Peter Fitzgerald , David Ratcliff
Teams Nissan Motorsport