Oran Park series finale preview

Round 8 - Oran Park, NSW Richards Faces Final Challenge For Nations Cup Porsche king Jim Richards faces a tense challenge to secure his second straight Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship in the season's final round next weekend...

Round 8 - Oran Park, NSW
Richards Faces Final Challenge For Nations Cup

Porsche king Jim Richards faces a tense challenge to secure his second straight Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship in the season's final round next weekend at Oran Park Raceway, near Sydney.

Richards goes into the eighth round with a 104-point lead over second-placed Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell, but with 60 points available to the winner of each of three races on Sunday, the title is still up for grabs.

"Paul won all three races at the last round at the Gold Coast and for sure he and the Lamborghini will be a big threat at Oran Park," Richards said.

"My team won't be doing anything radically different. We'll go out and do our best , make sure we finish and hopefully that will be enough."

The Nations Cup races will be part of the PROCAR Champ Series 2001 grand final meeting, which also will feature the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship, Poolrite V8 BRute Muster and Australian Formula 3 Championship.

Richards is bidding for his second Meguiar's Drivers Championship in the Nations Cup series and his fourth in production car racing. He won the GTP titles in 1995 and 1999. Porsche drivers have won every GTP or Nations Cup championship they have contested since 1995.

Despite the focus on Richards and Stokell, there are several other strong race contenders.

Clarion Sandown 500 winners John Bowe and Tom Waring will join AFL personality Sam Newman among five Ferrari drivers, while Peter Fitzgerald will help defend Porsche honour.

Others likely to be the thick of one of the closest-fought rounds of the season include Geoff Morgan and D'arcy Russell, who will be keen to stretch their Chrysler Vipers' powerful V10 engines on Oran Park's long main straight.

2001 MEGUIAR'S DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP (after Round 7 of 8)
859 points Jim Richards
755 Paul Stokell
676 Peter Fitzgerald
631 Geoff Morgan
589 Tony Quinn
501 D'arcy Russell

TIMETABLE

Friday
10.40 Practice (30 min.)
1.20 Practice (20 min.)

Saturday
11.00 Practice (20 min.)
1.30 Qualifying (30 min.)

Sunday
11.30 Race 1 (11 laps)
1.30 Race 2 (11 laps)
3.40 Race 3 (11 laps)

LAST YEAR

Pole - Park (Ferrari) 1 min. 12.57 sec.

Race 1
Richards (Porsche)
Noske (Ferrari)
Fitzgerald (Porsche)

Race 2
Richards Bradbury (Porsche)
Jones (Ferrari)

Lap record
Richards 1:12.57

- www.procar.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , John Bowe , Tony Quinn , Geoff Morgan , Peter Fitzgerald , Paul Stokell