Sandown Qualifying

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP SANDOWN QUALIFYING 26th JUNE 1999 VIPER STRIKES IN SANDOWN GTP RETURN Dodge Viper driver Garry Waldon proved the mighty Dodge Viper GTS Coupe could be a major force in the remaining...

CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP

SANDOWN QUALIFYING 26th JUNE 1999

VIPER STRIKES IN SANDOWN GTP RETURN

Dodge Viper driver Garry Waldon proved the mighty Dodge Viper GTS Coupe could be a major force in the remaining rounds of the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship with a stunning pole position performance at Sandown today.

Waldon claimed the pole position for both of tomorrow’s two races in the V10, 8 litre American muscle car.

The Porsche 911 RSCS of Jim Richards will start alongside Waldon with Ferrari F355 Challenge driver Wayne Park in third position.

"The long straights really suit the straight line speed of the Viper but brakes will again be my major concern on Sunday," Waldon said.

"We should be able to lead the first few laps and then see if we can try to maintain that speed without hurting the brakes.

"Having not driven since Bathurst last year, I am still a little bit rusty and could probably improve by about 1/2 a second with just a few more laps under my belt.

"The car is handling very well and has certainly improved significantly since Bathurst last year."

The Porsche 911 RSCS duo of former champions, Peter Fitzgerald and Domenic Beninca will line up in fourth and fifth position for both races while Jamie Cartwright’s Toyota Supra RZ Twin Turbo also showed a strong turn of speed in sixth place for the opening race in the Meguiar’s Class A division.

For Perry Spiridis’ Maserati Ghibli team, the day did not go to plan with a blown turbo putting them out for the day.

While Geoff Full continues to dominate the Autobarn Class B division aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX, Dwayne Bewley’s similar machine and Mark King’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III swapped places for second and third in the two qualifying sessions.

Championship contenders and Ford vs Holden rivals Ryan McLeod and Peter Phelan also took a Class C pole each.

McLeod’s Ford Falcon EL XR8 took the honours in the morning session while Championship leader Phelan fought back in the afternoon aboard his Holden Commodore VS SS.

Ric Shaw’s Toyota MR2 continued its strong run with two pole positions while his team-mate Colin Osborne drove well in the afternoon session to take the runner-up spot.

GTP LIGHTS Phil Kirkham continued his domination of the GTP Lights Class D division. The Mazda 626 driver eclipsed the Holden Vectra 2.2 GLs of Melinda Price and Sam Newman. Ex-ALF star Newman improved his time by nearly 3/10ths of a second between the sessions.

Nathan Thomas (Suzuki Swift GTi) headed Class E in both sessions ahead of Kosi Kalaitzidis (Proton M21 Coupe).

RESULTS QUALIFYING ONE 1. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) 1:18.540 2. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:18.774 3. Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) 1:19.032 4. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:19.083 Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:24.886 Class C Ryan McLeod, Ford Falcon XR8 1:27.964 Class D Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 1:30.224 Class E Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:33.199 Class S Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 1:27.859

QUALIFYING TWO 1. Garry Waldon, Dodge Viper GTS (A) 1:18.206 2. Jim Richards, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:19.008 3. Wayne Park, Ferrari F355 Challenge (A) 1:19.060 4. Peter Fitzgerald, Porsche 911 RSCS (A) 1:19.143 Class B Geoff Full, Subaru Impreza WRX 1:25.036 Class C Peter Phelan, Holden Commodore VS SS 1:27.877 Class D Phil Kirkham, Mazda 626 1:30.433 Class E Nathan Thomas, Suzuki Swift GTi 1:32.524 Class S Ric Shaw, Toyota MR2 Bathurst 1:28.691

Paul ryan paulryan@camtech.net.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Peter Fitzgerald , Ric Shaw , Melinda Price , Jamie Cartwright , Geoff Full , Phil Kirkham , Colin Osborne , Ryan McLeod , Wayne Park