Stokell scores third Nations Cup pole for AGP qualifying. Paul Stokell claimed his third pole position in three years for Lamborghini in qualifying for the Cleanevent Nations Cup at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today. Stokell's lap...
Stokell scores third Nations Cup pole for AGP qualifying.
Paul Stokell claimed his third pole position in three years for Lamborghini in qualifying for the Cleanevent Nations Cup at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today.
Stokell's lap time of 2 minutes 2.78 seconds slightly undercut his 2002 mark and gave notice the three-time Gold star champion is out to increase his tally of five wins on the 5.3 km Albert Park circuit.
The first of four Cleanevent Nations Cup races will start at 3.50 pm today.
Peter Brock, driving Holden's 7.0 litre Monaro, finished just 0.21 sec. behind Stokell while Greg Crick was a further 1.4 sec. further back after stepping into his ex-Geoff Morgan Chrysler Viper for the first time only this morning.
Stokell was delighted with his pole-position hat-trick, but predicted Brock would be a threat in the races.
"I always seem to love this track. I get straight into it and today I was surprised we were as quick so soon," he said.
"I had a bit of a play out on the track to check out the Monaro. It's certainly not getting its speed through the corners but it's got some stonk in a straight line and Peter has got it going faster in each session.
"My big concern is the brakes. Ours are at their best only for about three laps here and this afternoon is a 10-lap race."
Other promising performances came today from Melbourne driver Martin Wagg, who qualified fourth in a Porsche GT3 RS, and 24-year-old Dane Allan Simonsen, fifth in a Ferrari 360 Challenge.
Wagg's car arrived from Japan only on Monday and was virtually untested, while Simonsen's handling of the Group Two Ferrari placed him ahead of several faster Group One entrants.
Danish driver makes strong ausssie debut in Ferrari.
Danish driver Allan Simonsen made a promising debut at Albert Park today for what could become a full season of Nations Cup racing.
Simonsen, 24, from Odense, finished fifth in qualifying for the Cleanevent Nations Cup despite problems with the Formula 1-style electronic gearchange on his Group Two Ferrari 360 Challenge.
He said he hoped his performance this weekend with the PHR Scuderia team could see him on the grid in Adelaide in two weeks for round one of the Nations Cup Championship.
"Now I'm here and I've showed people that I'm quick we'll see where we go next.
"If they want me then I could stay, but as always it depends on finding the money."
Simonsen's impressive qualifying ahead of faster Vipers, Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis surprised some Nations Cup regulars, but he said it was a product of his European racing experience.
"I've raced Formula Ford, Formula Renault, Formula 3 and British GT so I've done a lot of tough racing. The cars in front of me here are a lot more powerful, but I come from a background that pushes the cars harder," he said.
"The Ferrari feels good, but we've got a little problem with the gears that's costing quite a lot of time at two points around the circuit."
1. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo GTR) 2:02.780
2. Peter Brock (Holden Monaro) 2:02.991
3. Greg Crick (Chrysler Viper) 2:04.387
4. Martin Wagg (Porsche GT3 RS) 2:06.032
5. Allan Simonsen (Ferrari 360 Challenge) 2:07.500
1. Graham Alexander (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII) 2:16.963
2. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII) 2:18.46
3. Justin Hemmes (Subaru Impreza STi) 2:21.16