LAMBORGHINI driver Paul Stokell began his fight back into contention for the Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship by topping official practice today for round four at Queensland Raceway. Stokell lapped the 3.1 km circuit in...
LAMBORGHINI driver Paul Stokell began his fight back into contention for the Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship by topping official practice today for round four at Queensland Raceway.
Stokell lapped the 3.1 km circuit in 1 minute 14.27 seconds, 0.4 sec. ahead of Geoff Morgan in a Chrysler Viper, with Peter Fitzgerald a further one second behind in a Porsche GT3.
The performance of the V12-engined Italian coupe was not unexpected on the fast Ipswich circuit, but was nevertheless welcome for Stokell, who is fighting to lift himself from fifth spot on the pointscore.
"We had three non-finishes and scored no points in the last round in Canberra and fell from first to fifth, so this weekend I have to work hard to get back in the game," Stokell said.
"There are 181 points available from qualifying tomorrow and three races on Sunday and I want as many of them as possible."
Current Nations Cup champion and points leader Jim Richards was fourth-fastest in his Porsche.
He said he would be trying hard this weekend, but expected big-engined cars such as the Lamborghini and V10 Viper to have an advantage.
"Realistically, they'll be faster here - but I won't give up until the flag falls," Richards said.
1. P. Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) 1:14.27 2. G. Morgan (Chrysler Viper) 1:14.68 3. P. Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3) 1:15.70 4. J. Richards (Porsche GT3) 1:15.86 5. C. Baird (Ferrari 360 Challenge) 1:16.25 6. D. Beninca (Porsche GT3) 1:16.73
MEGUIARS DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP: 380 points J. Richards, 290 P. Fitzgerald, 261 T. Quinn, 218 P. Stokell, 166 M. Noske.
TIMETABLE: Saturday - 11.20 am (Practice, 20 min.), 2.50 pm (Qualifying, 30 min.). Sunday - 11.30 am (Race 1, 15 min.), 1.35 pm (Race 2, 15 min.), 4 pm (Race 3, 15 min.).