UTE: New cars, new teams 2003-05-12

* GT Performance: First BA Falcon GT ready soon * Production Cars: Alfa 156 GTA for Sydney team * V8 BRutes: Kim Jane set for Wakefield debut, $25K blow to Elsegood's plans FIRST FALCON GT UNDER WAY FOR GT PERFORMANCE The Australian GT...

*  GT Performance:  First BA Falcon GT ready soon

* Production Cars: Alfa 156 GTA for Sydney team
* V8 BRutes: Kim Jane set for Wakefield debut, $25K blow to Elsegood's plans

FIRST FALCON GT UNDER WAY FOR GT PERFORMANCE

The Australian GT Performance Championship is set to host the return of the Ford Falcon GT, with the first BA model currently being built for Ford stalwart Trevor Haines.

Construction of the car started three weeks ago in the Gold Coast workshop of Craig Lyons' Triple R Racing, where Haines' current Falcon Tickford TE50 is prepared.

The GT is due to make a dislay appearance at round three of the championship at Wakefield Park, Goulburn, at the end of this month, although it is not expected to take over the TE50's place on the grid until at least round four.

However, the Wakefield Park appearance will be used to help celebrate Ford's 100th anniversary and to unveil a new team name, Team GT, and new white-and-orange livery featuring returning primary sponsor Yamaha.

Team Manager John Carroll says Haines has high hopes that the 290 kiloWatt GT can take the fight on Ford's behalf to the Holden HSV GTS300i sedans that comprise the biggest group of entries in GT Performance this season.

ALFA ROMEO 156 GTA TO BOOST PRODUCTION CAR RANKS

ALFA Romeo will boost the wide variety of makes in the Australian Production Car Championship when two Sydney Alfa devotees debut a new 156 GTA sedan around mid-season.

Angelo Catalano and David Capraro have formed DNA Motor Racing to run the $90,000 Alfa in the championship and at Mount Panorama in November.

Capraro will drive the GTA when it joins the series, either from round four at Queensland Raceway or round five at Oran Park. Catalano will join the driving squad for Bathurst.

Catalano and Capraro have raced various Alfas since 1998 and see their entry in the national Production Car series as the height of their ambitions.

"Alfas are the third most important thing in my life after my wife and my work. I've been offered other cars to race, but in the end they weren't Alfas," Catalano said.

"We've been waiting to get an Alfa for a long time, but it actually got to the point where I was about to buy a Mirage when the GTA became available. We picked up a brand new car last Friday and we've started work on it already.

"David and I are just two little blokes living a dream and the dream was to take Alfa Romeo back to the track. I doubt we'll be ready to race at Wakefield Park, but we hope to take the car down to display it for the fans."

The front-drive Alfa 156 GTA features a 3.2 litre V6 engine, which produces 184kW, and a six-speed manual transmission.

The race car is being prepared by engineer Nigel Bolling, who ran the Alfa 75 Turbo and Alfa GTV 3.0 for Colin Bond in the 1980s.

The Alfa will join the most diverse line-up of current- and late-model cars in Australian racing.

Teams representing Holden, Ford, Honda, BMW, Proton, Toyota, Volkswagen and Daihatsu already contest the Australian Production Car Championship with a variety of models.

There are indications the latest Toyota Camry V6 Sportivo, Mini Cooper and Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo will be on track later this year.

BROCK, HARVEY, GRICE, JONES - NOW JANE JOINS V8 BRUTES GRID

THERE have been Brocks and Joneses, a Harvey, and a Grice and now Jane is to be added to the list of famous Australian motor racing names that have contested the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series.

Kim Jane, nephew of touring car champion Bob Jane, will race the ex-Garry Holt Holden SS from round three at Wakefield Park, Goulburn on 30 May - 1 June.

"I've been out of racing for three years putting time into my family and starting a business, but now I'm getting itchy feet to have a bit of fun," Jane said.

"We've come into the season a bit late, but we'll do what we can and next year we'll have a serious crack at the championship."

Jane will bring considerable experience to the V8 BRute ranks. He is a three-time Australian Super Speedway Champion and has raced NASCARS in the United States and Japan.

His last outing was the 2000 Australian Grand Prix, when he won all three NASCAR support races.

$25,000 THEFT A BLOW TO ELSEGOOD'S RACE SEASON

HIGH-profile Ford driver Jack Elsegood suffered a serious setback to his program in the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series when thieves emptied his home garage in Sydney last week.

The robbers broke into Elsegood's garage in the northern beaches suburb of Mona Vale on Wednesday, leaving the ex-Roosters footballer to cope with a $25,000 loss on top a struggle for ongoing sponsorship.

Gone are a Haase-Rotax Max go-kart, Husqvarna R360 dirk bike and Honda 250 Fit scooter, plus golf clubs, surfboards and other gear.

On top of the police investigations, Elsegood is offering a personal reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen items.

"Sponsorship to race the Falcon has been hard to get, but this robbery just makes the whole thing more difficult," Elsegood said.

"And as well as that, the kart was very important to me for training."

Despite Elsegood's profile in the Sydney social and media scene as a former rugby league player and his rising status as a V8 BRutes driver, he has struggled to fund his Falcon XR Pursuit this season.

"I've had about five magazine features about the BRute lined up, but I've had to put them on hold because there's no point in doing them until there's a sponsor on board to get the value from them."

See the 2003 PROCAR Champ Series action on the Seven Network!

-www.procar.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Bob Jane , Trevor Haines , Jack Elsegood
Tags AUSUTE