UTE: Oran Park: Final qualifying report

PROCAR Champ Series, 3-5 May, Oran Park, NSW. Viper's U.S. muscle scores Nations Cup pole. American muscle won the day over European exotica when Chrysler Viper driver Geoff Morgan powered his way to pole position today for round three of the ...

PROCAR Champ Series, 3-5 May, Oran Park, NSW.
Viper's U.S. muscle scores Nations Cup pole.

American muscle won the day over European exotica when Chrysler Viper driver Geoff Morgan powered his way to pole position today for round three of the Australian Nations Cup Championship at Oran Park Raceway, near Sydney.

Morgan won his way through three heats of the Top 8 Eliminator one-lap qualifying sprints, claiming pole for the first of tomorrow's three races over Paul Stokell in a Lamborghini, John Bowe in a Ferrari and current champion Jim Richards in a Porsche.

Although Morgan won the Top 8 Eliminator races, it was John Bowe who set the fastest lap in the main qualifying session held earlier and poses the real danger tomorrow.

Bowe's time of 1 minute 10.45 seconds aboard the $750,000 Ferrari coupe slashed by 1.72 seconds the qualifying record set last year by Stokell in a previous Lamborghini.

Morgan, from Sydney, predicted a close battle in tomorrow's 16-lap races.

"You have four different sports cars in the first four, each with strengths and weaknesses over a race distance," said Morgan, who is second to Bowe in the championship pointscore.

"My Viper is very fast, but we've been working hard in the pits this weekend to improve the suspension so we can make the rear tyres last longer."

Sydney touring car veteran Bob Pearson claimed pole position for the Australian GT Performance Championship, driving a Mazda RX-7.

Like Nations Cup, four different cars filled the first four spots in a closely-fought qualifying.

While Pearson's 1:16.33 lap time was a half-second faster than second-placed Peter Floyd, in a Holden GTS, the gap between second and fourth was just four-hundredths of a second.

Round three of the V8 BRute Series for Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon utes promises extremely close racing after less than one second separated the first six vehicles in qualifying.

Falcon driver Warren Luff used home-track knowledge to help set the fastest lap time of 1:22.68 and the next four qualifers - Damien White, Dean Canto and Allan Grice - also drove Falcons.

After qualifying, a ballot between drivers to decide starting order for the first of tomorrow's three races saw Dennis Cribbin (Commodore) draw pole position. Luff will start fourth.

In qualifying for round three of the Australian GT Production Car Championship, Scott Loadsman took pole position with a lap time of 1:21.73 in a Holden Commodore SS.

FAST FACTS about the PROCAR Champ Series at Oran Park

* Categories - Nations Cup (Rd 3), GT Performance (Rd 3), GT Production Cars (Rd 3), V8 BRutes (Rd 3), Formula 3 (Rd 3), Mitsubishi Mirage (Rd 3), NSW HQ C'ship (Rd 4).

* Saturday (From 9 am) - Qualifying, including Nations Cup Top 8 Eliminator; plus HQ Holden race.

* Sunday (From 9 am) - 16 races, all categories. Ute Muster display and competition for road utes. Autograph sessions 12.15 pm (GT Production, Formula 3, Mirage) and 1.40 pm (Nations Cup, V8 BRutes, GT Performance).

* Tickets - Adults $15 all areas (Saturday), $25 plus $10 paddock/pit (Sunday). Students 11-16 years $10 all areas (Saturday), $10 plus $10 paddock/pit (Sunday). Ute drivers enter free on Sunday with paying adult passenger.

* Information - Oran Park (02) 4646 1004, or www.procar.com.au and www.v8brutes.com.au.

See the PROCAR Champ Series on SBS Speedweek and Inside Speed on Fox Sports!

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Dean Canto , John Bowe , Peter Floyd , Geoff Morgan , Paul Stokell , Scott Loadsman , Warren Luff , Damien White , Bob Pearson
Tags AUSUTE