BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 2 LAKESIDE, QUEENSLAND: Qualifying Report, Saturday, June 17 Gold Coast driver Paul Morris today mastered variable weather conditions at Brisbane's Lakeside Raceway in his all-conquering...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 2
LAKESIDE, QUEENSLAND: Qualifying Report, Saturday, June 17
Gold Coast driver Paul Morris today mastered variable weather conditions at Brisbane's Lakeside Raceway in his all-conquering BMW to win pole position for both races in tomorrow's second round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship.
Morris earned two championship bonus points for his qualifying performances at Lakeside and boosted his lead in the series to 18 points ahead of Brisbane's David Auger.
The first qualifying session, which determined grid positions for the opening race over 17 laps, was held on a dry track surface. Morris clocked the quickest lap time of 53.95-secs in his Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i, despite driving with a compulsory 40kg weight penalty imposed after he won all three races in the first round at Sydney's Oran Park on May 28.
Sydney policeman John Henderson qualified second in a Henderson Racing Holden Vectra, 0.71-secs behind Morris, and was followed by NSW pair Alan Gurr in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo and Jim Cornish in a Visit Your Vet Honda Accord.
The track was damp when the second session began, but conditions later improved. Morris coped best with the changing weather and recorded the quickest lap of 54.48-secs on dry-weather 'slick' tyres, which won him pole pole position for the second race over 27 laps.
Cornish claimed a front-row start for the first time in the championship since his debut in 1997 with the second quickest time of 55.99-secs. Henderson finished third, followed by Auger in a Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo. Cornish missed the championship opener at Oran Park and is racing the Honda Accord for the first time. In 1999 he raced a Nissan Primera.
Morris now leads the championship with 48 points, with Auger second on 30, and Gurr's NSW team-mate Peter Hills third on 22. Hills did not drive in the second qualifying session because of engine problems, and will start the second race from the rear of the grid. Trinovin Nissan Primera racer Aaron McGill, from NSW, missed both qualifying sessions because of gearbox trouble, but will race tomorrow.
PAUL MORRIS (Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i): “We got the job done, but it wasn't easy, especially in the second (qualifying) session when the weather was changing. I was lucky to get out on the track and find a dry line when I had the right tyres on the car. We are quick in qualifying trim, but it remains to be seen how the extra weight will affect the BMW over a full race distance."
JIM CORNISH (Visit Your Vet Honda Accord): “It's taken me four years to get onto the front row so the team are very pleased. This is our first race with the Honda so it's a surprise for sure. The car is much more stable than the Nissan I drove last year. I think we're going to have a good season."
PETER HILLS (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): "The car started spitting out oil in the first (qualifying session) so we stayed in the garage for the second session. Our guess is the problem could be a broken compression ring."
PAUL LEABEATER (Redline Motorsport Hyundai Lantra): "These Super Touring cars are a big step up from the HQ (Holden) I raced last year. There is a lot to learn, but we are improving all the time by staying out on the track and doing laps. At Oran Park we finished every race, and that's what we'll be trying to do again tomorrow."
<pre> QUALIFYING - SESSION 1 LAP TIMES (starting positions Race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 51.95-secs 2. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 54.66 3. Alan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 54.95 4. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Honda Accord 55.45 5. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 55.83 6. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 56.52 7. Allan Letcher (WA) McGill Motorsport Ford Mondeo 57.62 8. Carlos Rolfo (Qld) Bocoo-Global Express Peugeot 405 57.94
QUALIFYING - SESSION 2 LAP TIMES (starting positions Race 2): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 54.48 2. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Honda Accord 55.99 3. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 56.02 4. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 57.08 5. Alan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 57.22 6. Allan Letcher (WA) McGill Motorsport Ford Mondeo 59.33 7. Carlos Rolfo (Qld) Bocoo-Global Express Peugeot 405 60.09 8. Paul Leabeater (NSW) Redline Motorsport Hyundai Lantra 63.57