ITALY fought back in the first official practice sessions for round four of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup today, with two Ferraris and a Lamborghini leading the German Porsche pack at Queensland Raceway, Ipswich. After Peter ...
ITALY fought back in the first official practice sessions for round four of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup today, with two Ferraris and a Lamborghini leading the German Porsche pack at Queensland Raceway, Ipswich.
After Peter Fitzgerald, Jim Richards and Mark Williamson took all the wins for Porsche in round three on Canberra's narrow street circuit, the fast and smooth Queensland track saw Mark Noske put his Ferrari F360 on top of the timesheets for the provisional grid with a lap of 1 min. 14.22 sec.
Showing the form that has put him in front in the Meguiar's Top Marques Drivers Championship, Noske was a safe 0.91 sec. ahead of the second-fastest driver, Wayne Park, in an identical Ferrari.
Australian Driving Championship winner Paul Stokell was third fastest in a V12-powered Lamborghini Diablo SVR.
This weekend's round has attracted four of the $350,000 Ferraris, the other two being driven by young guns Darren Palmer and Christian Jones, son of world champion Alan Jones.
Two-time GTP champion Jim Richards finished an unaccustomed fifth today, after suffering tyre problems in both practice sessions. Richards said the problems were the result of suspension settings, which would be changed in time for tomorrow's qualifying.
"We'll be quicker tomorrow, but I don't think we'll catch the Ferraris or the Lamborghini. Queensland is a fast track and they have the speed to match it," Richards said.
Geoff Morgan was the fastest of three Dodge Viper entrants, in 10th spot. <pre> RESULTS: Lap time 1. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:14.22 2. Wayne Park (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 1:15.13 3. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) 1:15.47 4. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:15.64 5. Jim Richards (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:15.78 6. Mark Williamson (Porsche 911 GT3) 1:16.13
TIMETABLE: Saturday 12.15 pm - Qualifying (30 min.), 3.35 pm - Practice (1=5 min.); Sunday 8.25 am - Warm-up (10 min.), 10.45 am - Race 1 (10 laps), 4.20 pm - Race 2 (14 laps).