UTE: Wakefield race report

John Bowe stretched his lead in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with a clean sweep of round three in his Ferrari 360GT at Wakefield Park circuit near Goulburn today. After starting from pole position, Bowe led the way in all...

John Bowe stretched his lead in the Donut King Australian Nations Cup Championship with a clean sweep of round three in his Ferrari 360GT at Wakefield Park circuit near Goulburn today.

After starting from pole position, Bowe led the way in all three races despite carrying a 66 kilogram "success" handicap for the second two events.

The tight 2.2 kilometre circuit clearly suited his nimble Italian coupe more than the Lamborghini Diablo of round runner-up Paul Stokell and third-placed Nathan Pretty's Holden Monaro.

"If I couldn't win here I couldn't win anywhere. I'm glad to have collected maximum points, because it's going to be harder at the next round in Queensland where there are more straights to suit the bigger cars," Bowe said.

In race one, before the success ballast was added, Bowe's fastest lap of 58.93 seconds not only lowered the Nations Cup record but also set a new outright mark for any closed car.

He heads for the Queensland round on 13-15 June with 230 points in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship, a lead of 45 over Stokell. Pretty is third, a further 39 points in arrears.

The Nations Cup for GT sports cars was the premier event in a 15-race program for the PROCAR Champ Series meeting.

Attendance was a Wakefield Park record of 18,420 over three days and 12,527 today and 375 vehicles took part in a colorful trackside ute muster.

Unusually, the order for the first six places in each Nations Cup race was the same -- Bowe, Stokell, Pretty, Anthony Tratt (Lamborghini), Brock and Martin Wagg (Porsche RS), but the Group Two class produced a different winner each time.

Porsche GT3 driver James Koundouris won the first race, Australian Rules football personality Sam Newman won the second in a Lamborghini and and VJ Angelo won the third in a BMW Z3 GT.

The consistent Angelo was the Group Two round winner, but Koundouris retained his lead in the championship pointscore.

In the Australian GT Performance Championship, presented by Strathfield, Queensland driver Mark King in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII equalled Bowe's feat with pole position and three all-the-way wins.

In doing so, he took over the lead in the series standings from Wayne Boatwright, who had a troublesome weekend in his Subaru Impreza and was unable to finish higher than fifth in any race.

Wakefield Park's tight layout also suited the all-wheel drive Lancers as much as Bowe's Ferrari.

Sydney's Garry Holt scored two second places and the lap record, Bob Hughes two third places and series newcomer and ex-rally driver Robert Ogilvie a third, a fourth and a fifth.

The most successful driver among the other makes was Boatwright's ProTecnica Subaru teammate, Sydney hotelier Justin Hemmes, who took an impressive second place in the last event, despite having held a racing licence only six months.

The handicap start system used in the Exide Australian Production Car Championship produced two very different winners in two races -- David Russell won the first in a four-cylinder Proton Satria, while Scott Loadsman sprinted from a rear-of-grid start to win the second in a V8 Holden Commodore SS.

Loadsman narrowly won the round for Class A from Craig Bradshaw, who set the Production Car Championship lap record in a Ford Falcon XR8 in race two.

Steve Grocl consolidated his Class B leadership with maximum round points and Russell won the round in Class D.

Some of the day's most spectacular action came from the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series.

Defending champion Warren Luff won the first and third races in a Ford Falcon XR8 ute and took over the 2003 series lead from Holden SS driver Charlie Kovacs, who won race two.

But it was Sydney Ford driver Nandi Kiss who took out the headlines with a massive crash that stopped after only five laps.

Kiss, whose racing nickname is Mr Damage and who luckily owns a crash repair business, spun on the fastest part of the main straight after contact with another competitor.

His ute demolished a section of steel safety barrier and a wire fence before flying tail-first into a bank almost at the feet of a crowd of amazed spectators.

Kiss was shaken but unhurt; however, the event program was delayed 45 minutes while track workers replaced the steel barrier with a concrete and tyre wall.

-www.procar.com.au-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nathan Pretty , John Bowe , Anthony Tratt , James Koundouris , Paul Stokell , Mark King , Bob Hughes , Charlie Kovacs , Garry Holt , Warren Luff , Craig Bradshaw , David Russell
Tags AUSUTE