Brock wins again in Nations Cup at Grand Prix; King on top in GT Performance Class. Peter Brock led from pole position to chequered flag in Holden's 7.0 litre Monaro coupe to claim his second Cleanevent Nations Cup race at the Fosters Australian...
Brock wins again in Nations Cup at Grand Prix; King on top in GT Performance Class.
Peter Brock led from pole position to chequered flag in Holden's 7.0 litre Monaro coupe to claim his second Cleanevent Nations Cup race at the Fosters Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today.
After victory yesterday in the first of four races, Brock today was unchallenged over the 10-lap event while chaos reigned back in the field.
The race featured an exciting charge from the back of the starting grid by three of the leading competitors, Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo), Allan Simonsen (Ferrari 360 Challenge) and Greg Crick (Chrysler Viper).
Stokell forced his way through to second place just ahead of Simonsen, from Denmark, who displaced Crick just two corners from the finish as the Viper started to run out of fuel.
Crick was one of several drivers caught out by an unannounced extension of the race from the scheduled eight laps to 10 laps.
Stokell's second place was some compensation for his Diablo's elimination yesterday by a backmarker, but tonight his team was working to repair its second car driven by Sam Newman.
Newman was put out of third place and into the wall after a collision with Simonsen, who later was fined $500 by stewards.
The stewards also fined Porsche driver John Koundouris $1000 following a first-lap collision that caused the retirement of D'arcy Russell's Viper from second place.
The finishing order in the GT Performance class was the same as yesterday, with Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII) leading home Graham Alexander in an identical car and Justin Hemmes in a Subaru Impreza STi.
The third race in the Cleanevent Nations Cup has been shortened from 10 laps to eight and will be run tomorrow at 5.35 pm.
Brock will be on pole again, but King predicts the all-wheel drive Mitsubishis and Subaru may topple some of the Nations Cup GT sports cars if it rains tomorrow as forecast.
"To be honest, some of the slower Nations Cup cars are already holding us up in the corners and if it rains I think we'll really get among them," he said.
King, a former champion, praised the performance of Hemmes, who is contesting his first GTP event.
"Justin's apprenticeship is happening pretty quickly here, but he's doing well. He's got plenty of aggression and plenty of potential to go well in the championship this year," King said.
Maserati success at AGP spurs Bathurst plans
MASERATI'S successful return to international sports car racing at the Fosters Australian Grand Prix has accelerated plans to enter the Bathurst 24-Hour next November.
A Maserati Trofeo driven by Australian Rod Wilson won the Group Two competition and came sixth outright in the first of four Cleanevent Nations Cup races yesterday on the 5.3 km Albert Park grand prix circuit in Melbourne.
The new Trident Racing team's second car, driven by Gary Young, finished 11th outright and sixth in class.
The race marked the legendary Italian make's official return to motorsport, in which it will take over Ferrari's role in sports car racing within the FIAT group. The new one-make series for which the Trofeo was primarily built will have its first round in Spain next month.
A 4.2 litre V8 Trofeo was flown out from Italy for a demonstration appearance at the inaugural Bathurst enduro last November and now Maserati Australasia general manager Herbert Appleroth is keen to see the car make an assault on outright victory in the second race on 21-23 November.
"This weekend is just the start of Maserati's plans. We're definitely planning to be at Bathurst with a car developed to Group One level that will be a match for Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Viper and Monaro," Appleroth said.
"Maserati is also looking at building a version to FIA N-GT regulations and I hope we can get one of those next year."
Yesterday's race was watched by visiting officials from the Maserati factory, who Appleroth said were "over the moon" at the result.
Trident Racing is a new venture for Melbourne businessman Tony Raftis, who founded the high-profile PHR Scuderia in 2000 to run Ferrari 360GT and 360 Challenge cars. Wilson, the Australian Pirelli motorsport importer, has been appointed Motorsport Director of Trident.
RESULTS, RACE 2 OF 4 (10 LAPS)
1. Peter Brock (Holden Monaro)
2. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo GTR)
3. Allan Simonsen (Ferrari 360 Challenge)
4. Greg Crick (Chrysler Viper)
5. Mark Mayall (Porsche GT3 RS)
1. Allan Simonsen
2. Rod Wilson (Maserati Trofeo)
3. Hector Lester (Ferrari 360 Challenge)
1. Mark King (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII)
2. Graham Alexander (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII)
3. Justin Hemmes (Subaru Impreza STi)
Paul Stokell 2:03.057
SPEED CHECK, Cleanevent Nations Cup
TIMETABLE: Saturday - 5.35 pm Race 3 (8 laps). Sunday - 9.30 am Race 4 (8 laps).