UTE: Adelaide Thursday practice summary

Crick on top with Viper as Nations Cup series opens on Adelaide street circuit. Tasmanian driver Greg Crick overcame lack of experience in his recently-purchased Chrysler Viper to top the first official practice session for the 2003 Australian...

Crick on top with Viper as Nations Cup series opens on Adelaide street circuit.

Tasmanian driver Greg Crick overcame lack of experience in his recently-purchased Chrysler Viper to top the first official practice session for the 2003 Australian Nations Cup Championship in Adelaide today.

Crick, who drove the 8.0-litre American coupe for the first time only two weeks ago, recorded a time on the 3.2 kilometre street circuit of 1 minute 26.51 seconds, more than a second faster than last year's pole position mark set by Ferrari's John Bowe.

"I'm really pleased with today but it's only early days yet. The Viper felt nice and I had a bit of a go once I remembered where the track went - it's a long time since I've driven here," Crick said.

"We've made some changes to try to get a bit more out of the car tomorrow. A car that weighs 1600 kilograms can't exactly be called nimble, but it's pretty good so far.

However, Crick can expect strong competition from three-time Australian Gold Star champion Paul Stokell, who was just two-hundredths of a second slower in his Lamborghini Diablo.

Stokell has good form in Adelaide, having taken twowins and a third place last year.

Defending Nations Cup champion Jim Richards came in third in a Porsche GT3 Cup and Nathan Pretty was fourth in the Bathurst-winning Holden Monaro.

Bowe finished an unaccustomed fifth after suffering engine problems in his Ferrari 360GT. Tonight his PHR Scuderia crew were replacing the Ferrari's 3.8 litre V8.

Denmark's Allan Simonsen, 24, continued his impressive form by winning the Group Two class and finishing the day sixth outright with a best lap of 1:28.44 in a Ferrari 360 Challenge.

Round one of the Nations Cup championship, presented by Cleanevent, will feature a second practice session tomorrow, before qualifying and two races on Saturday and a third race on Sunday.

The races will be shown on the Seven Network on Saturday 29 March.

Mazdas dominate GT Performance

Mazda RX-7s dominated a wet practice session for round one of the Australian GT Performance Championship, presented by Donut King, with Pro-Duct teammates Phil Ward and Bob Pearson first and fourth respectively and Ric Shaw third.

Ward was one of only a few drivers who fitted slick tyres to take advantage of a drying track late in the session and topped the timesheets by a margin of more than one second over second-placed Barry Morcom in a Holden HSV GTS.

Two of the newest cars in the field took the remaining spots in the top six.

Steve Cramp was fifth in a BMW M Coupe that was rolled out of its Adelaide workshop only yesterday, while Stewart McColl put a factory-backed Volkswagen Golf R32 into sixth place in its world-first track appearance.

Luff fastest in V8 BRutes session

Defending champion Warren Luff, in a Ford Falcon XR8, set the fastest time in practice for round one of the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series.

His lap time of 1 minute 40.60 seconds was almost 1.4 sec. faster the record he set in winning two races at last year's Clipsal event and well ahead of today's second-placed driver, South Australian Gary Baxter (Holden).

Damien White, debuting his self-owned Ford team, was third in an uneventful day for the V8 BRutes.

Loadsman puts Commodore V8 on top in Production

A new-look Australian Production Car Championship, presented by Eagle Boys Pizza, saw Scott Loadsman top two practice sessions in a Holden Commodore SS.

His best time of 1:42.39, set in the afternoon second session, was 1.2 sec. quicker than nearest rival and series newcomer Craig Bradshaw, in a Ford Falcon XR8.

Colin Osborne (Toyota Celica) and Geoff Russell (Proton) were winners in the new performance-based classes.

Martin Doxey, from Benalla, spectacularly crashed his Holden Astra in the second session. Rounding the right-hand turn nine at the end of the main straight, Doxey's car bounced off the kerb, rolled and then came to rest with its nose perched on top of the concrete safety wall.

Doxey was unhurt "but a bit sore and stiff". Every body panel on the Holden was damaged but Doxey said it would be repaired overnight and ready to race tomorrow.

-procar.au-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nathan Pretty , Jim Richards , John Bowe , Allan Simonsen , Ric Shaw , Greg Crick , Paul Stokell , Steve Cramp , Scott Loadsman , Colin Osborne , Warren Luff , Phil Ward , Damien White , Barry Morcom , Bob Pearson , Craig Bradshaw
Tags AUSUTE