GOULBURN (NSW) -- Paul Stokell will start his Lamborghini Diablo from pole position in round six of the Australian Nations Cup Championship tomorrow after enduring a torrid qualifying day behind the wheel at Wakefield Park circuit...
GOULBURN (NSW) -- Paul Stokell will start his Lamborghini Diablo from pole position in round six of the Australian Nations Cup Championship tomorrow after enduring a torrid qualifying day behind the wheel at Wakefield Park circuit today.
Stokell, the defending Nations Cup champion and leader of the 2004 driver standings, was comfortably faster than main rival Nathan Pretty, who had opened the weekend with the fastest practice time in his Holden Monaro yesterday.
James Brock was third-fastest in another Holden Monaro, standing in for his father Peter Brock, who is with the Australian Olympic team in Athens. David Steves came fourth in a Porsche GT2 Turbo.
Stokell had to recover his confidence for the Nations Cup qualifying after two incidents earlier in the day.
In the first, he spun the $700,000 Lamborghini through a gravel trap at around 200 kmh after his foot became tangled under the brake pedal at the end of the main straight.
"That was the biggest lose I've had in a long time. I couldn't get my foot out from under the pedal and missed the braking point," Stokell said.
Later, he was involved in a heavy collision while driving a factory Volkswagen Golf in qualifying for the Australian GT Performance Championship.
The Volkswagen and the Mazda RX-7 of Ric Shaw collided on a corner, with the consequent damage eliminating both cars for the weekend.
Both drivers were shaken but unhurt.
Shaw, one of GTP's fastest competitors, had already secured second spot on the starting grid for tomorrow but said the expensive crash meant the end of not only his weekend but also his championship.
It's also a blow for Stokell, who is second in the GTP standings - and hoping to achieve a double championship with Nations Cup -- but now will score no points for the round.
Pole for the GTP was won by Garry Holt, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8, while Shaw's withdrawal elevated championship leader Justin Hemmes to the front row of the grid in his Subaru Impreza STi.
His 17-year-old ProTecnica teammate Chris Alajajian came third in his first GTP race in a Subaru.
Nations Cup -- incorporating the Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge this weekend - and GTP are part of a 13-race program tomorrow, which also will feature the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, Australian Production Car Championship and Australian Formula 3 Championship.
Around 120 cars are entered and on target to match the on-track numbers is a giant Ute Muster, expected to attract roadgoing utes and their owners from many parts of New South Wales.
In the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, points leader Damien White topped the qualifying sheets and then won the post-qualifying draw for grid positions.
White, driving a Team Brock Holden SS, led an extremely close field in which the first six cars were separated by just 0.27 sec. Marcus Zukanovic and Grant Denyer, both in Ford Falcons, were second and third and Gary Baxter was fourth in a Holden.
Chris Alajajian backed his efforts in GTP with pole position in a Subaru Liberty in the Australian Production Car Championship, ahead of defending series champion Scott Loadsman, who drove a Holden Commodore SS.
RESULTS (Round 6, Qualifying)
Australian GT Performance Championship
1. Garry Holt (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1 min. 4.17 sec.
2. Ric Shaw (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1:04.18
3. Justin Hemmes (NSW) Subaru Impreza STi 1:04.42
4. Chris Alajajian (NSW) Subaru Impreza STi 1:04.68
5. Steve Knight (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:04.81
6. Garry Young (Vic.) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:04.84
Australian Nations Cup Championship
1. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo 59.14 sec.
2. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 59.50
3. James Brock (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1 min. 00.13 sec.
4. David Stevens (NSW) Porsche GT2 1:00.28
5. Allan Simonsen (Denmark) Ferrari 360 Challenge 1:01.65
6. Ian Palmer (Qld) Brabham Honda NSX Turbo 1:02.25
1. Allan Simonsen
2. John Teulan (Qld) Ferrari 360 Challenge 1:02.45
Poolrite V8 BRutes Series
1. Damien White (NSW) Holden SS 1 min. 10.88 sec.
2. Marcus Zukanovic (Vic.) Ford Falcon XR8 1:11.00
3. Grant Denyer (NSW) Ford 1 min. 11.04
4. Gary Baxter (SA) Holden 1:11.05
5. Glen Barnes (Vic.) Holden 1:11.12
6. Allan Grice (Qld) Ford 1:11.15
Pole position draw -- Damien White
Australian Production Car Championship
1. Chris Alajajian (NSW) Subaru Liberty GT 1 min. 09.74 sec.
2. Scott Loadsman (NSW) Holden Commodore SS 1:09.85
3. David Ryan (NSW) Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 1:10.59
4. Ian Luff (NSW) Honda Integra Type R 1:11.54
5. Nick Dunkley (NSW) Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 1:11.59
6. Colin Osborne (NSW) Toyota Celica 1:11.89
Class A -- Chris Alajajian
Class B -- Ian Luff
Class C -- Leanne Ferrier (Vic.) Toyota Corolla Sportivo 1:13.23
Class D -- David Russell (NSW) Proton Satria GTi 1:13.85