UTE: Wakefield qualifying report

Ferrari ace John Bowe produced devastating form to claim pole position for Round Three of the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship for GT sports cars in qualifying at Wakefield Park circuit, Goulburn, today. Bowe's lap time of 58.91 ...

Ferrari ace John Bowe produced devastating form to claim pole position for Round Three of the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship for GT sports cars in qualifying at Wakefield Park circuit, Goulburn, today.

Bowe's lap time of 58.91 seconds was the fastest ever recorded in an enclosed car on the 2.2 km circuit and sent a warning his red Italian coupe will be difficult to catch in tomorrow's three races at the PROCAR Champ Series meeting.

Paul Stokell also smashed the qualifying lap record with his second-fastest time of 59.59 sec. in a Lamborghini Diablo, securing an all-Italian front row ahead of the 7.0 litre Holden Monaro of Bathurst 24-Hour winner Nathan Pretty.

Bowe, who leads the Meguiar's Drivers Championship pointscore, was not surprised at his result, saying the compact Ferrari 360GT was well-suited to the tight Wakefield Park layout.

"It's the best track in the country for this car, no doubt about it. It's all corners and no straights here, but the next few tracks we go to won't be as good," he said.

However, Bowe's optimism for tomorrow was tempered by the expectation a podium finish in the first race would earn a weight handicap for race two under the series regulations.

"If we get (weight) ballast it will affect us dramatically, but you just have to get on with it," Bowe.

"I'll drive flat out and do my best and see what happens."

Stokell said he was baulked by a slower car during a lap that would have been ever faster than his 59.59 sec., while Pretty was satisfied to be third.

"We always knew the Monaro would not be at its best here, so we're comfortable with third. However, the Monaro is an excellent race package and so we'll see what tomorrow brings," Pretty said.

Pretty's teammate Peter Brock came fifth in qualifying and will join the grid just behind Stokell's Sandown 500 co-winner Anthony Tratt, who is contesting his first Nations Cup championship round for Team Lamborghini Australia.

Bowe was not the only driver to go under the record bar today.

Sydney's Michael Caruso drove the fastest lap ever of Wakefield Park in claiming pole position at the head of an incredibly close field in the Australian Formula 3 Championship.

Caruso's Italian-built Dallara Fiat completed the circuit in 54.62 sec. and, impressive though it was, his time was merely six-hundredths of a second faster than Christian Jones in a Dallara Honda. Alan Gurr followed one-thousandth of a second behind in his Dallara Alfa Romeo.

Nations Cup and Formula 3 are among six national motor racing championship rounds being contested this weekend.

Garry Holt, from Sydney, scored his first GT Performance (presented by Strathfield) pole position in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII sedan and series leader Scott Loadsman, in a Holden Commodore SS, went fastest in qualifying for the Exide Australian Production Car Championship.

In the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, defending champion Warren Luff qualified fastest in a Ford Falcon XR8 ute, but veteran Allan Grice (Falcon) picked pole position for tomorrow's first race in a post-qualifying draw.

-www.procar.com.au-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nathan Pretty , John Bowe , Peter Brock , Paul Stokell , Alan Gurr , Scott Loadsman , Garry Holt , Michael Caruso , Warren Luff , Christian Jones
Tags AUSUTE