Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell surged past John Bowe to the lead in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship after clean-sweeping the fifth round at Oran Park circuit, near Sydney, today. Stokell dominated all three races in his ...
Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell surged past John Bowe to the lead in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship after clean-sweeping the fifth round at Oran Park circuit, near Sydney, today.
Stokell dominated all three races in his Lamborghini Diablo GTR after also taking the pole position in qualifying yesterday.
Bowe, driving a Ferrari 360GT, finished second in the round and lost the points lead he had held since the start of the eight-round season.
Heading for round six at Victoria's Phillip Island next month, Stokell has 348 points to Bowe's 345 in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship.
Holden's leading driver Nathan Pretty is on a distant 249 points in his 7.0 litre Monaro, with Peter Brock fourth outright on 166 points in the sister car.
Stokell's Team Lamborghini Australia attributed his unbeatable speed to the choice of extra-soft compound tyres, a new Holinger sequential-change gearbox and suspension development by former V8 Supercar engineer James McKay.
"We had a great day today and of course I'm really happy to be leading the championship. More importantly, while I've led in past years this time we've taken the lead at the right end of the season," Stokell said.
"But we'll have a big job at Phillip Island. Although it's a high-speed track I'm not at all certain we can beat Bowe."
Today, Stokell won as he liked and for good measure lowered his lap record from last year by a massive 2.45 seconds, to 1 minute 8.62 seconds, on his fourth lap of the day.
Bowe also performed impressively, considering his 3.6 litre Ferrari was surrounded in third place on the grid by two 6.0 litre Lamborghinis, two 7.0 litre Monaros and two 8.0 litre Chrysler Vipers.
He took two second places and a third.
His main rival was Nathan Pretty, who pressured the Ferrari throughout the day. Although a spin after the first corner put him back to fifth at the finish of race two, Pretty wore down Bowe in the 24-lap final to take a deserving second place.
In the Group Two competition, James Koundouris from Canberra won all three races in a Porsche GT3, consolidating his lead in the pointscore and overtaking Sam Newman (Lamborghini) for sixth in the outright standings.
The Nations Cup was the highlight of the three-day PROCAR Champ Series meeting, which was attended by more than 10,000 people.
In the Australian GT Performance Championship, Subaru Impreza Wayne Boatwright won both races in round five, doubling up with ProTecnica teammate Justin Hemmes for a 1-2 result in race two.
Despite picking up 60 points, Boatwright remains second in the drivers' standings with a total of 245 points to Mitsubishi Lancer driver Mark King's 271. King collected only 11 points today for fifth place in race one.
Hunter Valley driver Gary MacDonald (Holden) won the round in the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, which now is shaping as a tight battle to the finish between at least three drivers.
Defending champion Warren Luff (Ford Falcon) finished second today but remains in the series lead with a total of 230 points, ahead of James Brock (Holden) on 191.5. MacDonald is just two points further behind.
David Russell, driving a factory-entered Proton Satria, took outright and class honours in the Australian Production Car Championship, presented by the Cumberland Newspaper Group.
Russell scored a win and a fourth place.
Round six of the PROCAR Champ Series will be at Phillip Island on 8-10 August.
The national Seven Network will broadcast the races from Oran Park
Raceway on the following dates:
* Saturday, 2 August(12 midday) -- Nations Cup
* Saturday, 9 August(12 midday) -- GT Performance
* Saturday, 16 August(12 midday) -- V8 BRutes
* Saturday, 23 August(12 midday)-- Production Cars/Formula 3