Simonsen Takes Breakthrough Ferrari Win In Nations Cup Adelaide Round ADELAIDE -- Danish driver Allan Simonsen took his first outright win in the Australian Nations Cup Championship with a storming drive aboard his Ferrari 550 Maranello ...
Simonsen Takes Breakthrough Ferrari Win In Nations Cup Adelaide Round
ADELAIDE -- Danish driver Allan Simonsen took his first outright win in the Australian Nations Cup Championship with a storming drive aboard his Ferrari 550 Maranello today.
The win in the final race of round one marked the talented 24-year-old's first anniversary of his Australian debut and met the promise his $750,000 Italian rocket had shown all weekend.
However, it was Lamborghini's Paul Stokell who left with the round win and lead in the 2004 standings after winning two earlier races and coming second today.
In other events on the PROCAR Champ Series program at the Clipsal 500 meeting, Justin Hemmes won the GT Performance third race and former Sydney football star Jack Elsegood won the V8 BRutes race from a horde of Holdens.
Small errors cost Simonsen possible wins in the first two Nations Cup races, but today he overcame a slow start front the front row and eventually got into the lead.
Stokell led from the start, while Nathan Pretty shot into second spot in the Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Monaro, which was showing its true form for the first time this weekend.
But Simonsen's pace once underway was relentless.
He set up the yellow Monaro in a tyre-smoking braking move into turn four and although Pretty held on right through to the exit, the Ferrari was quickly off in pursuit of its next target.
After a record lap of one minute 23.15 seconds, Simonsen had Stokell in his sights by lap six and used the Ferrari V12's enormous power to catapault past on the run into the 210 kmh sweeper.
The leaders got through cleanly, but three laps later Trophy class leader Theo Koundouris came undone on the exit and heavily crashed his Porsche. John Teulan came through to lead the Trophy cars home in a Ferrari 360 Challenge.
Simonsen was delighted to win in the Ferrari 550 Maranello, which had arrived from Italy only 10 days ago and was virtually untested.
"I've been driving the nuts off it this weekend. The biggest problem has been brake pressure because of having to change the brake discs from carbon as used overseas to steel discs ones -- they're a lot harder to use," Simonsen said.
Sydney nightclub owner Justin Hemmes leads the Australian GT Performance Championship after winning a crash-marred third race, which put his Subaru teammate Wayne Boatwright on the sidelines.
Hemmes made a spectacular start from the second row, riding the right-hand kerb past pole-sitter Peter Floyd (HSV) and into position two behind Mark King (Mitsubishi).
The Subaru got past on Brabham Straight while Paul Stokell, doubling up in the works Volkswagen Golf R32, used the momentum of his fast start to also move up as Floyd nursed a deflating tyre.
The race suddenly unravelled as King hit the wall and retired on the exit to the chicane and then Wayne Boatwright had a massive crash exiting turn 12.
The race was stopped as rescue workers took some time to remove Boatwright from his destroyed car. He was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital for examination, but was reported to be unhurt.
Officials called the result at the end of lap two, Hemmes winning from Stokell and Barry Morcom (Mitsubishi), and awarded full championship points.
Hemmes' enthusiasm was tempered by the shock of his teamate's crash.
"It's not as satisfying as it should be. It's shocking to see your teammate like that. It's a big reality check," he said.
Former Sydney rugby league Roosters player Jack Elsegood kicked Ford's first goal of the season with a win in race three of the V8 BRutes Series.
After three days' domination by Holden SS drivers through practice, qualifying and the earlier round-one races, Elsegood forced his way from sixth on the starting grid this morning.
The race packed action into each of its seven laps.
Charlie Kovacs led pole winner Gary Baxter into the first corner and Baxter then got into a squeeze with Glen Barnes and Benn Wilson, allowing David Griffin into second spot.
Elsegood followed in his Ford Falcon XR8 and traded fastest laps with Griffin.
Rookie Ryal Harris, from Brisbane, found the wall in his Falcon on lap two, following Wilson and Barnes into retirement.
Elsegood made his move on Griffin as the Holden developed gearbox and tyre problems and then on lap six made a brilliant move under Kovacs at turn four.
Kovacs said he was struggling with bent steering after brushing the wall three laps from the end.
A consistent effort from Griffin over the weekend, also including a win and a ninth place, gave him the lead in the points standings for the eight-round series. Elsegood is second and Kovacs third.
Television coverage of the Nations Cup, GTP and V8 BRutes series will feature in three one-hour weekly shows
Round two of the PROCAR Champ Series will be at Oran Park, near Sydney, on 16-18 April.
The program will feature the Nations Cup, GT Performance, V8 BRutes and Australian Production Car Championships, plus the return of Formula 3 and the Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge and the new Formula Green Future Racers Series.
Australian Nations Cup Championship (Rd 1, race 3, 10 laps)
GT class (outright)
1. Allan Simonsen (Ferrari)
2. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini)
3. Nathan Pretty (Monaro)
1. John Teulan (Ferrari)
2. Paul Blackie (Porsche)
3. Matthew Turnbull (Porsche)
Lap record -- Simonsen 1:23.15
Championship -- GT/outright, 87 points Paul Stokell, 78 Allan Simonsen, 60 Nathan Pretty;Trophy, 80 John Teulan, 62 Paul Blackie, 48 Theo Koundouris.
Australian GT Performance Championship (Rd 1, race 2, 9 laps)
1. Peter Floyd (HSV)
2. Mark King (Mitsubishi)
3. Justin Hemmes (Subaru)
Australian GT Performance Championship (Rd 1, race 3, 9 laps)
1. Justin Hemmes (Subaru)
2. Paul Stokell (Volkswagen)
3. Barry Morcom (Mitsubishi)
Championship -- 74 Justin Hemmes, 57 Paul Stokell, 54 Mark King.
V8 BRutes Series (Rd 1, race 3, 7 laps)
1. Jack Elsegood (Ford Falcon XR8)
2. Charlie Kovacs (Holden SS)
3. David Griffin (Holden)
Championship -- 63 Dave Griffin, 61 Jack Elsegood, 59 Charlie Kovacs.