UTE: Sandown Friday report

Pretty Saddles Holden Horsepower To Top Nations Cup Times at Sandown MELBOURNE -- Holden horsepower beat Italian stallions when Monaro driver Nathan Pretty topped official practice for round three of the Australian Nations Cup Championship for...

Pretty Saddles Holden Horsepower To Top Nations Cup Times at Sandown

MELBOURNE -- Holden horsepower beat Italian stallions when Monaro driver Nathan Pretty topped official practice for round three of the Australian Nations Cup Championship for GT sports cars at Sandown International Motor Raceway today.

Pretty, winner of round two and currently second in the series pointscore, punted his 7.0 litre Bathurst-winning coupe around the suburban circuit in 1 minute 12.34 seconds -- and then predicted the times would be even faster tomorrow for qualifying and the first of three races.

Championship leader Paul Stokell came second in his Lamborghini Diablo, ahead of 24-year-old Danish driver Allan Simonsen, driving a Ferrari 550 Maranello, and Peter Brock in another Monaro.

The Nations Cup is the headline event in a 17-race program comprising the PROCAR Champ Series meeting this weekend.

Also on the program are championship rounds for GT Performance, V8 BRutes, Formula 3, Production Cars, Porsches and Futureracers.

Acknowledging the long straights beside Sandown's horse-racing track favor big-horsepower cars, Pretty said he was enjoying the Monaro drive.

"The car's handling the best it ever has. The guys in the workshop have been really working on it and it shows on track," he said.

"A low 11 (1:11.0 lap time) will probably get pole."

Stokell agreed a faster time was possible.

"We had a clutch problem late in the day, but other than that the Lamborghini was doing its times on old tyres, so an 11 is possible tomorrow," he said.

Simonsen's Ferrari was slowed by a wrong choice in suspension settings, but it is still regarded as a threat, having beaten Stokell in round one in Adelaide.

The Nations Cup, GT Performance and V8 BRutes Series competitors all will have races tomorrow, following qualifying.

Gold Coast driver Beric Lynton was a surprise winner in GT Performance practice with a sub-record 1:21.49 time in his BMW M3.

Lynton was more than 0.6 seconds faster than the next competitor, Garry Holt (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8), who led a pack of 10 drivers separated by less than a second.

Adelaide performance driving instructor Gary Baxter, in a Holden, topped both practice sessions for the V8 BRutes.

Allan Grice came second in a Ford Falcon XR8 ute, but the following four cars all were Holdens.

As well as contesting three races, the V8 BRutes will be the focus on Sunday of a Ute Muster of road utes. BRute drivers will judge the road utes and award trophies in several categories.

RESULTS

Australian Nations Cup Championship (Rd 3, practice)
GT class
1. Nathan Pretty (Monaro) 1 min. 12.34 sec.
2. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini) 1:12.64
3. Allan Simonsen (Ferrari 550) 1:12.87
4. Peter Brock (Monaro) 1:14.34
5. David Stevens (Porsche GT2) 1:15.27
Trophy class
1. Marc Cini (Porsche GT3 1:17.07
2. Rod Wilson (Ferrari 360) 1:17.62
3. James Koundouris (Ferrari 360) 1:17.86

Australian GT Performance Championship (Rd 3, practice)
1. Beric Lynton (BMW M3) 1:21.49
2. Garry Holt (Mitsubishi Evo 8)
3. John Falk (Ford TE50) 1:22.15
4. Ric Shaw (Mazda RX-7) 1:22.25
5. Peter Floyd (Holden GTS) 1:22.38
6. Steve Knight (Mitsubishi Evo 8) 1:22.58

8 BRutes Series (Rd 3,practice)
1. Gary Baxter (Holden SS) 1:27.31
2. Allan Grice (Ford Falcon XR8) 1:27.97
3. Damien White (Holden) 1:28.01
4. Benn Wilson (Holden) 1:28.09
5. Charlie Kovacs (Holden) 1:28.426
6. David Griffin (Holden) 1:28.428

-procar.ay-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steve Knight , Nathan Pretty , Allan Simonsen , Peter Brock , Peter Floyd , James Koundouris , Ric Shaw , John Falk , Paul Stokell , Beric Lynton , Rod Wilson , Charlie Kovacs , Garry Holt , Damien White , Marc Cini
Tags AUSUTE