Winton Saturday qualifying report

WINTON (Vic.) - Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell claimed his fourth straight pole position in qualifying for round four of the Australian Nations Cup Championship at Winton Motor Raceway today. Stokell posted his time with wet weather tyres on a...

WINTON (Vic.) - Lamborghini driver Paul Stokell claimed his fourth straight pole position in qualifying for round four of the Australian Nations Cup Championship at Winton Motor Raceway today.

Stokell posted his time with wet weather tyres on a damp track in the early part of a 30-minute qualifying session and after the rain got heavier around half-time he could not be beaten.

Nathan Pretty was second fastest in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Monaro but was more than 1.6 seconds adrift of Stokell.

Having posted the fastest practice time yesterday, Pretty expressed frustration at missing the pole.

"It's good to be on the front row at Winton because there's a very short run to the first corner, but it would just be nice to get a pole some time," he said. "We improved the car during the session, but it was too late to hope for a better time."

At the season's halfway point, Pretty is the driver most able to thwart Stokell's run at a second championship.

The pair is separated in first and second positions by only 37 points in the standings and Pretty has proved his potential at Winton by winning last year's round here.

Stokell said he had not been able to find an optimum suspension set-up for his Lamborghini Diablo.

"I haven't quite found the sweet spot and I think that Monaro will be a threat, especially if it's wet again tomorrow. It seems to put its power down very well out of the tight corners here."

Sydney driver David Stevens was third-fastest in the best performance yet for his Porsche GT2. Allan Simonsen came fourth outright and first in the Trophy class in a Ferrari 360 Challenge, his usual GT class Ferrari 550 Maranello sidelined with an engine problem.

Peter Brock struggled with his new Holden Monaro -- completed only at 3 am yesterday -- and ended up 10 th, while D'arcy Russell claimed 14 th spot in the return of his Chrysler Viper after a year's lay-off.

The biggest and most diverse Nations Cup field this season will contest three races tomorrow as part of the PROCAR Champ Series meeting.

In the Australian GT Performance Championship, Mazda RX-7 driver Ric Shaw matched Stokell's Nations Cup performance with his own fourth straight pole position -- and the driver he beat was Stokell.

Stokell, also driving for the factory Volkswagen team and second in the series points standings, will start his Golf R32 in the first of three races from the other front-row spot, ahead of Peter Floyd (Holden GTS) and Bob Hughes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8)..

Series leader Justin Hemmes will be hard-pressed to defend his position from 10t th on the grid in his Subaru Impreza, while Garry Holt, another leading title contender, will start off the back of the grid after losing an engine on his third lap today.

Poolrite V8 Brutes Series leader Damien White confirmed his current form with the fastest qualifying lap in his Holden SS during the only completely dry session of the day.

Gary Baxter and Glen Barnes followed in Holdens and Jack Elsegood came in fourth with the first Ford Falcon ute.

Warren O'Grady drew pole position in a post-qualifying ballot for the first of three races tomorrow.

Chris Alajajian , 17, will start his Subaru Liberty GT from pole position in the Australian Production Car Championship for the second time this season.

Alajajian, who leads the championship, will share the front row with Steve Grocl in an ex-factory Volkswagen Beetle RSi.

Around 130 cars in six categories will contest 15 races tomorrow.

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 (qualifying)
GT class & outright
1. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Lamborghini Diablo 1 min.33.32 sec.
2. Nathan Pretty (Vic.) Holden Monaro 1:34.96
3. David Stevens (NSW) Porsche GT2 1:36.38
4. Allan Simonsen (Denmark) Ferrari Challenge1:37.38
5. Rod Wilson (Vic.) Ferrari 360 Challenge 1:37.73
6. Ian Palmer (Qld) Holden Monaro 1:38.65
Trophy class
1. Allan Simonsen
2. Rod Wilson
3. Perry Spiridis (Vic.) Porsche GT3 1:39.02

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 (qualifying)
1. Ric Shaw (NSW) Mazda RX-7 1 min. 31.60
2. Paul Stokell (Vic.) Volkswagen Golf R32 1:32.51
3. Peter Floyd (Vic.) Holden GTS 1:32.73
4. Bob Hughes (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:32.96
5. Steve Knight (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 81:33.155
6. Barry Morcom (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 81:33.42

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 (qualifying)
1. Damien White (NSW) Holden SS 1 min. 40.56 sec.
2. Gary Baxter (SA) Holden 1:41.00
3. Glen Barnes (Vic.) Holden) 1:41.39
4. Jack Elsegood (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1:41.73
5. Charlie Kovacs (SA) Holden 1:41.79
6. Grant Denyer (NSW) Ford 1:41.81

Championship standings (after round 3): 213 Damien White, 170 Dave Griffin, 165 Charlie Kovacs, 157 Jack Elsegood, 128 Benn Wilson, 121 Chris Smerdon.

Australian Production Car Championship, round 4 (qualifying)
1. Chris Alajajian (NSW) Subaru Liberty GT 1 min.47.32
2. Steve Grocl (Vic.) Volkswagen Beetle RSi 1:47.97
3. David Ryan (NSW) Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 1:49.08
4. Scott Loadsman (NSW) Holden Commodore SS 1:50.02
5. Leanne Ferrier (Vic.) Toyota Corolla Sportivo1:50.24
6. John Houlder (NSW) Ford Falcon XR8 1:50.40
Class A - David Ryan
Class B - Steve Grocl
Class C - Leanne Ferrier
Class D - David Russell (NSW) Proton Satria GTi 1:50.91

Championship standings: Outright 148 Chris Alajajian, 141 Scott Loadsman, 114 Ian Luff, 109 Leanne Ferrier, 96 David Ratcliff, 65 Colin Osborne. Class A 171 Chris Alajajian. Class B 176 Ian Luff. Class C 150 Lynne Champion. Class D 114 Lauren Gray.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steve Knight , Nathan Pretty , Garry Rogers , Allan Simonsen , Peter Brock , Grant Denyer , Peter Floyd , James Koundouris , John Teulan , Ric Shaw , Paul Stokell , Theo Koundouris , Ian Palmer , Rod Wilson , Bob Hughes , Scott Loadsman , Ian Luff , Charlie Kovacs , Colin Osborne , Garry Holt , David Ratcliff , Jack Elsegood , Chris Alajajian , Damien White , Barry Morcom , Lauren Gray , David Ryan , David Russell
Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport