Pretty Fastest in Monaro on Day One of Procar Round at Winton Holden Monaro driver Nathan Pretty proved he has the form to win this weekend's fourth round of the Australian Nations Cup Championship after topping the practice timesheets at...
Pretty Fastest in Monaro on Day One of Procar Round at Winton
Holden Monaro driver Nathan Pretty proved he has the form to win this weekend's fourth round of the Australian Nations Cup Championship after topping the practice timesheets at Winton Motor Raceway in north-eastern Victoria today.
Pretty took advantage of a dry break on a cold and often wet day to record a time of one minute 25.05 seconds, giving hope that he can repeat his domination of last year's Winton round and stay in the 2004 title fight with Lamborghini's Paul Stokell.
Stokell was second-fastest today, 0.3 sec. behind, and in turn more than three seconds ahead of third-placed Allan Simonsen.
Simonsen has swapped his exotic Ferrari 550 Maranello for a slower Ferrari 360 Challenge in the Trophy class this weekend, but the change made little difference in the greasy conditions on the tight rural circuit.
Ian Palmer, having his first drive in the ex-Peter Brock Holden Monaro, finished fourth in practice, but Brock had a difficult time in the debut of the new car he and his son James have built in their home workshop.
The 7.0 litre Monaro failed to make the first practice session and then in the second session Brock had worked up to 10 th place before a flat left-front tyre put him off the circuit.
The field of 17 Nations Cup cars will contest qualifying tomorrow and three sprint races on Sunday as part of the PROCAR Champ Series weekend.
In other categories on track today, Bob Hughes in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 set the fastest practice time of 1 minute 41.63 sec. for round four of the Australian GT Performance Championship.
Garry Holt was second in another Lancer, while Peter Floyd was third in the debut of a new Holden HSV GTS sedan.
Floyd was delighted with the form of his new car and forecast he could go even better if the wet conditions continued.
Team Brock Holden SS driver Damien White topped the Poolrite V8 BRutes Series practice sessions, continuing the form that has seen him win the past five races and take the lead in the points standings.
Jack Elsegood was the fastest Ford driver, finishing 1.7 seconds behind White in a distant second place.
Around 130 cars in six categories will contest qualifying tomorrow and 15 races on Sunday.
Sunday also will feature a major Ute Muster in support of the V8 BRutes races and displays by several car clubs, including Holden, Ford and Subaru WRX.
Australian Nations Cup Championship, Rd 4 (practice)
1. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1 min. 25.05 sec.
2. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo 1:25.38
3. Allan Simonsen (Denmark) Ferrari Challenge 1:28.58
4. Ian Palmer (Qld) Holden Monaro 1:29.39
5. Mark Eddy (Vic.) Porsche GT3 R 1:29.41
6. David Stevens (NSW) Porsche GT2 1:29.53
Championship standings (after round 3): GT class 251 Paul Stokell, 214 Nathan Pretty, 119 Allan Simonsen, 100 Peter Brock, 79 David Stevens. Trophy class 162 John Teulan, 156 Theo Koundouris, 126 James Koundouris.
Australian GT Performance Championship, Round 4 (practice)
1. Bob Hughes (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1 min.41.63 sec.
2. Garry Holt (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:42.77
3. Peter Floyd (Vic.) Holden GTS 1:42.90
4. Justin Hemmes (NSW) Subaru Impreza STi 1:42.90
5. Gary Young (Vic.) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 81:42.92
6. Barry Morcom (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 81:42.99
Championship standings (after round 3): 195 Justin Hemmes, 161 Paul Stokell, 150 Peter Floyd, 135 Garry Holt, 114 Steve Knight, 105 Ric Shaw.
Poolrite V8 BRutes Series, round 4 (practice)
1. Damien White (NSW) Holden SS 1 min. 41.77 sec.
2. Jack Elsegood (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1:43.12
3. Glen Barnes (Holden) 1:43.48
4. Benn Wilson (Qld) Holden 1:43.59
5. Denis Cribbin (NSW) Holden) 1:43.72
6. Luke May (Vic.) 1:43.84
Championship standings (after round 3): 213 Damien White, 170 Dave Griffin, 165 Charlie Kovacs, 157 Jack Elsegood, 128 Benn Wilson, 121 Chris Smerdon.
Speed Read, PROCAR Champ Series (Rd 4)
* Categories -- Nations Cup, GT Performance, V8 BRutes, Production Cars, Formula 3, Porsche Challenge
* Timetable -- Saturday, practice and qualifying from 9 am. Sunday, 15 races from 9 am
* Ticket prices -- Saturday adults $10. Sundayadults $12. Free paddock entry all weekend. Children under 15 free.
* Ute Muster -- Sunday. Reserved trackside ute display area, trophies, free entry to competition.