Ferrari driver John Bowe continued his dominant form in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship by setting the fastest lap time in official practice today for round four at Queensland Raceway, Ipswich. Bowe had billed his 3.8 litre...
Ferrari driver John Bowe continued his dominant form in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship by setting the fastest lap time in official practice today for round four at Queensland Raceway, Ipswich.
Bowe had billed his 3.8 litre Ferrari 360GT as an underdog against big-engined rivals on the high-speed 3.12 km track, but after two sessions his best lap of 1 minute 11.45 seconds was more than 0.8 sec. faster than the rest of the field.
The timesheets followed the order of recent rounds, with Bowe leading Paul Stokell (Lamborghini), Nathan Pretty (Holden Monaro), Anthony Tratt (Lamborghini), Greg Crick (Chrysler Viper) and Peter Brock (Monaro).
Stokell, who is running second to Bowe in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship points standings, said he was disappointed not to have set the fastest time, but predicted an improvement on fresh tyres in qualifying tomorrow.
"Everyone was using old tyres today from the previous round but the Ferrari's appeared to be in better condition," Stokell said.
"However, there's not much time between the rest of the front runners and I expect qualifying is more likely to reveal everyone's true form."
Peter Brock also used old tyres for his first drive on Queensland Raceway, but still managed sixth-fastest in the 15-car field.
"We'll settle on our tyre choice overnight, but it seems you have to be accurate here and look after the tyres," Brock said.
"I think the Monaros and the Lamborghinis will be close. We have the punch out of the corners, but they're faster on the straight -- my top speed today was 218 kmh and the Lambo was pulling away."
Sunday's three races for the Nations Cup will be part of a 16-race program comprising the PROCAR Champ Series round.
Also on the bill are the fourth rounds of the Australian GT Performance Championship (presented by Strathfield), Exide Australian Production Car Championship, Poolrite V8 BRutes Series and Australian Formula 3 Championship.
The Falken Tyres Mirage Cup will stage its third round.
For the first time this season, Holdens made up the provisional front row of the grid in the GT Performance Championship after practice today.
Victorian Peter Floyd stretched the 400 horsepower legs of his Holden HSV GTS to record a lap time of 1 min. 20.20 sec. and top an extremely close contest.
Barry Morcom was second fastest in an identical Holden, ahead of the two Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions of Garry Holt and championship leader Mark King.
John Falk gave the only current Ford entry, a Falcon Tickford TE50, its best practice result ever by finishing sixth, but teammate Trevor Haines' new BA Falcon GT failed to make the track.
The GT, the first with the iconic Ford nameplate to contest a major series in more than 25 years, was completed at its Gold Coast workshop only this afternoon and will join the field in further practice tomorrow morning.
James Brock, in a Holden SS, topped the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series timesheets 0.26 sec. ahead of defending champion Warren Luff, who drove a Ford Falcon XR8.
The Australian Production Car Championship entrants will contest practice and qualifying tomorrow.