HOLDEN drivers Peter Floyd and Cameron McConville were declared winners today of the V.I.P. Petfoods 2-Hour Showroom Showdown, 17 hours after the race finished at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. Revised results were announced this morning by stewards...
HOLDEN drivers Peter Floyd and Cameron McConville were declared winners today of the V.I.P. Petfoods 2-Hour Showroom Showdown, 17 hours after the race finished at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.
Revised results were announced this morning by stewards from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport after an overnight review of timekeepers' records.
Gary Deane and Robert Rubis, in a Subaru STi, were second and third place went to Mark King and Rod Wilson, in a Mitsubishi Evo V.
"It may have been delayed, but I'm thrilled to take my first Bathurst win whenever it happens," Floyd said. "Our Commodore GTS has run superbly for three days, Cameron did a great job to put us on pole position and we ran a trouble-free race."
The fifth annual race for near-standard passenger cars had been awarded immediately after the finish to the Mitsubishi pair Graham Alexander and John Woodberry, but they were relegated to fourth in the revised results.
The stewards initiated an inquiry after approaches from race officials, competitors and GTP organiser PROCAR Australia.
"Some irregularities in race control occurred during a safety car period which materially and incorrectly affected the outcome of the race," according to a stewards' statement today.
The incident that led to the errors was a crash and fire involving the works Volkswagen Beetle of Formula Ford champion Will Davison at the Dipper, on the steep descent from the top of Mount Panorama.
The stewards said that when the safety car was called out to control the race field, the teams that initially were awarded first, second and third - Alexander/Woodberry, John Bowe/Chris Dunn (Ford Mustang) and Bob Hughes/Tony Quinn (Mitsubishi) - gained an advantage which was corrected in the revised results.
"While we cannot absolutely restore the position prior to the errors . . . we have made some adjustments which reflect a fair and reasonable outcome for the event," they said.
PROCAR Australia spokesman Craig Denyer said he was pleased the situation had been resolved in favor of the true winners.
"Once the race starts all control is handed from the GTP organisers to the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and their officials. Unfortunately, due to the serious nature of a fire which marshals had difficulty controlling for a number of laps, fundamental errors were made during the safety car period and some cars were given an unfair advantage," Mr Denyer said.
"Race control's primary concern in arresting what could have been a major incident led to the safety car picking up the wrong lead vehicle on lap 13.
"The consequences of this error have been corrected in the revised results and the real and deserved winners have been recognised. I must add this takes nothing away from the performance and achievements of any competitors, including those who have now been relegated; they did not contribute to the problems."
The revised results involved only the leading group in the 45-car field and positions in four of the five classes were not affected. Floyd and McConville won the outright Meguiars Top Marques High Performance class.
Alexander, a former rally driver from Geelong, set the pace when he bolted from third on the grid to first within metres of the start, splitting the all-Commodore front row of Floyd and Ed Aitken/John Faulkner.
Quinn and King followed and the order remained until the safety car was called out on lap 13 for six laps.
Aitken, last year's winner, retired with transmission problems as the race resumed on lap 19 and soon afterwards Hughes was directed into the pits for two stop-and-go penalties.
Woodberry took over the lead as the race headed into the final stages, but came under pressure from John Bowe, who had quietly worked the Mustang through the field into second place.
The Mitsubishi driver, who usually is Alexander's race mechanic, responded with a lap record of 2 minutes 30.78 seconds and was able to defend the lead as Bowe slowed to conserve fuel.
The final drama occurred when Hughes failed to make the last corner and hit the safety barrier. However, he was able to reverse out and save third place at the finish.
Competition in the classes featured strong performances, with the Poolrite V8 Touring class Commodore SS of Scott Loadsman/Ian Luff finishing an impressive 15th outright. Luff's son Ian paired with Robert Chadwick in a Mitsubhsi Magna to win the Poolrite 6-Cylinder class.
Wayne Russell and Steve Cramp drove their BMW 323i to first in the Hippies Sports Touring class, while first in Poolrite 4-Cylinder class went to David Russell and Nathan Thomas, in a Proton Satria.
RESULTS: <pre> 1. P. Floyd/C. McConville (Holden Commodore GTS) - 41 laps 2. G. Deane/R. Rubis (Subaru Impreza STi) - 41 laps 3. M. King/R. Wilson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V) - 41 laps 4. G. Alexander/J. Woodberry (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V) - 41 laps 5. J. Bowe/C. Dunn (Ford Mustang Cobra) - 41 laps 6. P. Polites/N. Cunningham (Holden Commodore GTS) - 40 laps
Meguiar¹s Top Marques High Performance: P. Floyd/C. McConville Hippies Sports Touring class: W. Russell/S. Cramp (BMW 323i) - 40 laps, 18th outright Poolrite V8 Touring: S. Loadsman/I. Luff (Commodore SS) - 40 laps, 15th Poolrite 6-Cylinder Touring: R. Chadwick/W. Luff (Mitsubishi Magna) - 39 laps, 22nd Poolrite 4-Cylinder Touring: D. Russell/N. Thomas (Proton Satria GTi) - 38 laps, 26th
Fastest lap: J. Woodberry 2 min. 30.78 sec.