Lamborghini and Holden will share the first row of the starting grid for round five of the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship for GT sports cars at Oran Park circuit, near Sydney, tomorrow. Team Lamborghini Australia driver Paul ...
Lamborghini and Holden will share the first row of the starting grid for round five of the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship for GT sports cars at Oran Park circuit, near Sydney, tomorrow.
Team Lamborghini Australia driver Paul Stokell maintained the strong form he established from the weekend's first practice session by dominating qualifying this afternoon.
His best lap time of 1 minute 8.16 seconds secured the pole position by a comfortable margin of 0.54 sec.
Ferrari driver John Bowe, current leader of the Meguiar's Drivers Championship pointscore, held second spot for most of the session but was pipped in the final minutes by Nathan Pretty, in a 7.0 litre Holden Monaro.
Peter Brock came fourth in the second Garry Rogers Motorsport team Monaro, ahead of Tasmanian Greg Crick, in a Chrysler Viper.
After winning round four in Queensland a month ago, Stokell's form this weekend gives him a further chance to run down Bowe's lead in the series.
Bowe has 289 points to Stokell's 255, with Pretty a further 50 points behind.
"I'm happy to have John back on the second row, but I think the interesting thing will be how Nathan goes off the start in the Monaro. The good thing is he'll be on the outside for the first two left-hand corners," Stokell said.
"It's a rolling start with a long run to the first corner and while Nathan and I will be in a drag race, Bowe in the Ferrari will have to deal with Brock in the Monaro."
Stokell's teammate Anthony Tratt will start his Lamborghini from the back of the grid in race one. Both cars suffered broken front suspension in practice this morning, but only Stokell's could be repaired in time for qualifying.
The Nations Cup cars will contest two 16-lap races and a 24-lap finale tomorrow.
Qualifying for the Australian GT Performance Championship for production touring cars was won by Sydney veteran Bob Pearson, in a Mazda RX-7.
Pearson's best lap time was 0.57 sec. ahead of second-placed Garry Holt, in a Mitsubishi, but from second place just one second covered the next 12 cars on the grid.
Pearson said the changed GTP format for Oran Park, with an 11-lap sprint and 22-lap feature, including a compulsory pit stop, instead of the usual three races, meant predicting a winner would be difficult.
"Oran Park suits my Mazda, but the race is an open book. For the first time, it will depend on strategy and that will be affected by whether there are any incidents on-track that result in caution periods," Pearson said.
Melbourne driver Peter Floyd and his team put in one of the most impressive qualifying performances, setting the seventh-best time barely two hours after rolling his Holden HSV GTS in practice.
"The anti-skid brakes failed at the end of the straight and I was just a passenger," Floyd said.
"The NRMA crash repair crew and my own team bashed out the roof, fixed the front end and fitted a new windscreen and the car went like new."
Craig Bradshaw, in a Ford Falcon XR8, reversed the positions on Australian Production Car Championship leader Scott Loadsman (Holden Commodore SS), by winning pole position for round five.
Colin Osborne (Toyota Celica), David Russell (Proton Satria) and Aaron Lewis (Toyota Camry) qualified first in their respective classes.
In the Poolrite V8 Series, defending champion and current points leader Warren Luff, in a Falcon, set the fastest qualifying time but drew fourth in the ballot for grid positions.
Damien White, also in a Falcon, will start from pole in the first of three 10-lap races.
Tomorrow's 15-race program will feature more than 150 cars in rounds of seven championship series.
Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship
Group One/Outright: 1. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo GTR 1min. 08.16 sec. 2. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:08.70 3. John Bowe (Vic.) Ferrari 360GT 1:08.89 4. Peter Brock (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:09.07 5. Greg Crick (Tas,) Chrysler Viper 1:09.29 6. Martin Wagg (Vic.) Porsche GT3RS 1:11.50 Group Two: 1. James Koundouris (ACT) Porsche GT3 1:13.69 2. Paul Blackie (Qld) Porsche GT3 1:14.52 3. Simon Bartter (NSW) Porsche GT3 1:14.66
Australian GT Performance Championship
1. Bob Pearson (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1 min. 15.98 sec. 2. Garry Holt (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII1:16.55 3. Mark Brame (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1:16.57 4. Bob Hughes (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI1:16.67 5. Wayne Boatwright (NSW) Subaru Impreza WRX STi1:16.71 6. Mark King (Qld) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII1:16.80
Poolrite V8 BRutes Series
1. Warren Luff (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1 min. 21.97sec. 2. Gary MacDonald (NSW) Holden SS 1:22.26 3. James Brock (Vic.) Holden 1:22.37 4. Damien White (NSW) Ford 1:22.55 5. Gary Baxter (SA) Holden 1:22.57 6. Dave Griffin (NSW) Holden 1:22.75 Pole position draw Damien White
Australian Production Car Championship, presented by Cumberland Newspaper Group
Outright 1. Craig Bradshaw (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1:21.36 2. Scott Loadsman (NSW) Holden Commodore SS 1:21.76 3. Colin Osborne (NSW) Toyota Celica 1:22.50 4. David Ratcliff (NSW) Toyota Celica 1:22.64 5. Steven Grocl (Vic.) VW Beetle RSi 1:23.31 6. Rob Rubis (NSW) Toyota Celica 1:23.67 Class A Craig Bradshaw Class B Colin Osborne Class C Aaron Lewis (Toyota Celica) 1:25.57 Class D David Russell (Proton Satria GTi) 1:24.76