Queensland Practe Report

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP QUEENSLAND RACEWAY PRACTICE 9th JULY 1999 ELSTREK IMPRESSIVE IN MASERATI GTP DRIVE Female racer Paula Elstrek looks set to make a strong showing of her gradution to Class A of the...

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

QUEENSLAND RACEWAY PRACTICE 9th JULY 1999

ELSTREK IMPRESSIVE IN MASERATI GTP DRIVE

Female racer Paula Elstrek looks set to make a strong showing of her gradution to Class A of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.

Elstrek impressed aboard the Maserati Ghibli, finishing fourth fastest in both sessions; she faces a steep learning curve after contesting the 1999 Championship to date aboard a Class B Mazda RX7.

Porsche 911 RSCS driver Peter Fitzgerald dominated both practice sessions, finishing ahead of the similar car of Championship leader Jim Richards.

"It is a little bit different to what I am used to, because the Maserati has a lot more torque and it also is left hand drive," Elstrek said.

"You have to be very careful that you don't push too hard under brakes because it has a tendency to understeer.

"It also has a lot more power so you also have to wary on the throttle and not jump on it too early in a corner because the tail likes to jump out.

"The Mazda RX7 probably handles a little better but there is no comparison between the two for straight line speed - the Maserati is very quick in a straight line."

John Teulan impressed to be seventh and sixth in the two sessions aboard his repaired Nissan Skyline GT-R which struck the back of the stricken Ferrari F355 Challenge of Wayne Park on the grid at Sandown.

Domenic Beninca did not make it on to the track aboard the Ferrari which he has been entrusted with for the weekend.

Repairs were completed this afternoon from the Sandown shunt and the reigning GTP title holder is expected to make it in time for qualifying tomorrow. Beninca's own crashed Porsche could not be repaired in time for this weekend.

Geoff Full continues his Class B dominance aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX,while local Queenslander Mark King was second fastest in both sessions.

Peter Phelan (Holden Commodore VT SS) and David Ratcliff (Toyota Camry CSi) shared the honours in Class C while Michael Simpson also shone on home soil in his Class S BMW 323i to be quickest in the opening session.

GTP LIGHTS

Phil Kirkham's hold the Class D title is being well challenged by the girls at Queensland Raceway. Carol Jackson (Honda Civic VTiR) and Melinda Price (Holden Vectra GL 2.2) were much closer to Kirkham at the new Queensland track in the opening practice session.

Nathan Thomas held the upper hand in the GTP Lights Class E division aboard his Suzuki Swift GTi.

Craig Dontas was second fastest ahead of Sue Hughes - also armed with Suzuki Swifts.

RESULTS SESSION ONE 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:18.446 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:18.731 3. - Geoff Morgan, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:19.474 4. - Paula Elstrek, Maserati Ghibli - 1:19.823 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:23.601 Class C - Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VT SS - 1:27.445 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:29.193 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:30.322 Class S - Michael Simpson, BMW 323i - 1:25.898

SESSION TWO 1. - Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:17.603 2. - Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:17.993 3. - Ed Aitken, Porsche 911 RSCS - 1:18.084 4. - Paula Elstrek, Maserati Ghibli - 1:18.592 Class B - Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX - 1:22.434 Class C - David Ratcliff, Toyota Camry CSi - 1:26.152 Class D - Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 - 1:26.687 Class E - Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi - 1:28.952 Class S - Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 - 1:25.653

Paul Ryan, paulryan@camtech.net.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Ryan Paul , Jim Richards , Geoff Morgan , Peter Fitzgerald , John Teulan , Ric Shaw , Melinda Price , Geoff Full , Mark King , Phil Kirkham , David Ratcliff , Wayne Park , Mike Simpson
Teams Nissan Motorsport