Pretty powers Monaro to Nations Cup round win at Oran Park SYDNEY -- Holden power beat Italy's best when Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Nathan Pretty took his 7.0 litre Monaro to a second-round win in the Australian Nations Cup Championship at...
Pretty powers Monaro to Nations Cup round win at Oran Park
SYDNEY -- Holden power beat Italy's best when Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Nathan Pretty took his 7.0 litre Monaro to a second-round win in the Australian Nations Cup Championship at Oran Park circuit, near Sydney, today.
Pretty won both 16-lap heats run today while defending champion Paul Stokell battled to stay in contention with an intermittent electrical fault in his Lamborghini Diablo.
After three races during this weekend's PROCAR Champ Series meeting, heat one winner Stokell retained first place in the series standings but saw Pretty jump into second spot, just 20 points behind.
I'm pretty happy, as we struggled all weekend without a good suspension set-up, "Pretty said.
"The car wasn't easy to drive, but we profited from Stokell's misfortune.
"We've got plenty of work to do before the third round at Sandown next month. I reckon it's going to be a real battle there."
At Sandown, Pretty faces not only Stokell but also the prospect of a second Team Brock Monaro for Peter Brock's son James, the return of the Allan Simonsen Ferrari 550 Maranello, a rumoured second Lamborghini and a bigger field of Porsches.
With Stokell struggling today, Pretty's main rival was an in--form Peter Brock, returning to the series in the 05# Monaro he drove to Bathurst 24-Hour victory last November.
Brock hounded Pretty mercilessly for every lap, but their cars were so even he could never quite find the extra speed to pass.
Stokell took the lead from the rolling start in race two this morning, but slowed suddenly on lap four. He said later the electrical fault not only caused the engine to cut out intermittently, but also affected the steering, which is electrically-assisted.
Pretty took the finish with a margin of just 0.24 seconds as Brock made a lunge for the line.
Brock's eagerness to race cost him a stop-go penalty for jumping the start in race three.
Pretty raced to an unchallenged lead, while Brock's misfortune meant Stokell could hang on to second place even though his car was still giving trouble.
Stokell started the weekend in impressive form, but would have been less than satisfied tonight in his quest to win the rounds in two championship series.
He endured setbacks also while driving the official Volkswagen team entry in the Australian GT Performance Championship, which was won for the weekend by Mitsubishi driver Garry Holt.
Stokell crashed his Golf R32 in Friday practice and took over the identical car of teammate Tim Leahy.
He qualified second-fastest but was turned around by another competitor on the first lap of race one yesterday.
In turn, that put the Volkswagen in 16 th position on the grid for the second heat, from where he fought his way to eighth at the finish.
Starting from that position in race three, Stokell picked up five places in five laps and was closely challenging second-placed Justin Hemmes, in a Subau, when the Golf slid right and hit the concrete wall coming on to the straight.
Holt and Hemmes from then cruised to their second 1-2 result of the day, but the Subaru driver still holds the series lead.
Defending champion Mark King had a forgettable day, with persistent fuel supply problems forcing his Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 into the pits several times and out of serious contention.
Young drivers turned on some of the day's most exciting driving.
In the Australian Production Car Championship, Leanne Ferrier, 23, romped away with the first 12-lap handicap race in a factory-supported Toyota Corolla Sportivo.
Chris Alajajian, a 17-year-old Sydney school student, started with a 22 second handicap imposed on the fastest cars but forced his Subaru Liberty GT through the field until he was second on the final lap.
Desperate braking for the last corner allowed him to make a run on Ferrier as they raced for the finish line, but he failed to take the win by a mere four-hundredths of a second.
In race two, the finishing positions were reversed and the consistent Alajajian went home with the championship lead in his possession for the first time.
Damien White won round two of the V8 BRutes Series in his Team Brock Holden SS after taking two race wins and pole position.
Ex-Sydney Roosters rugby league player Jack Elsegood now leads the championship in his Ford Falcon XR8 after finishing second overall with two seconds and a third place.
The third heat was interrupted by a four-lap safety car period when Roy Leaver, George Elliot, Rob Jarvis and Matt O'Grady crashed together at the south end of the circuit.
Race one winner from yesterday Charlie Kovacs received a 45-second penalty for jumping the re-start.
The PROCAR Champ Series meeting also featured the Australian Formula 3 Championship, Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge and Formula Green Futureracers Series.