ASTC: Morris sets record at Mallala

Queensland's Paul Morris today established a record for most wins in a BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship season with two comfortable victories at the Mallala circuit near Adelaide. The 33-year-old Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW...

Queensland's Paul Morris today established a record for most wins in a BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship season with two comfortable victories at the Mallala circuit near Adelaide.

The 33-year-old Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i driver lifted his number of wins in the current championship season to 11, one better than the previous record of 10 victories by Melbourne-based New Zealander Jim Richards in a works Volvo S40 in 1999. Morris now has 11 successive race wins from as many starts in the opening five rounds of this year's championship, and a total of 44 victories since his debut in the series in 1994.

At Mallala Morris scored the maximum 32 championship points and leads series with a tally of 174. He holds an advantage of 76 points over Sydney policeman John Henderson, who is second on 98. Henderson finished second in the first of the two 24-lap races at Mallala, held in fine conditions, and was third in the second event.

Sydney teenager Alan Gurr (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo) is third in the championship with 87 points, followed by Queenslander David Auger (Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo) on 81. Gurr's Sydney team-mate Peter Hills is fifth on 75 points after second and third placings at Mallala.

Morris won the opening race at Mallala in 29-mins 17.97-secs after leading from start to finish. His winning margin was 42.19-secs ahead of Henderson, who was followed by Hills and Auger. West Australian Victorian Kerry Wade won the V8 Future Tourers class by finishing seventh outright. His class victory was the first by a Ford Falcon driver.

Canberra's Matthew Fox was involved in an incident with Victorian James Brock in race one. Fox's Hi-Tech Motorsport Nissan Primera was damaged after contact with Brock's Biante Model Cars Holden Commodore. After Fox made a pit-stop for repairs he received a 'stop-go' penalty for exceeding the speed limit in pit lane. Sydney's Jim Cornish retired because of engine problems with his Visit Your Honda Accord. Newcastle's Luke Searle withdrew when a gear selector spring broke on his SAE College-Roadchill Express BMW 318i. Canberra's Mark Zonneveld was another casualty, being forced out after an alternator belt problem with his TC Motorsports Peugeot 406.

In the second race Morris again led from start to finish and won in 29-mins 43.10-secs. Hills was second, 25.24-secs behind Morris, followed by Henderson and Gurr. Henderson held second position for a lengthy period until driving off the circuit into a sand-trap. He was able to resume racing. Tasmanian Tim Shaw, the V8 Future Tourers championship leader, finished the race with only three wheels on his Holden Commodore. A wheel dislodged itself from Shaw's car on the final lap.

Auger finished as the leading Independents Cup driver at Mallala, and Jason Domaschenz claimed overall honours in the Future Tourers class in an APS Racing Holden Commodore. The sixth round of the championship is at Symmons Plains near Launceston in Tasmania on December 10. The championship has not had a round in Tasmania since 1995.

PAUL MORRIS (Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320): “Getting the record is good, but it's secondary to extending my lead in the championship. Someone will come along and win more races in a season – records are there to be broken. It was hot, tough work out there and John (Henderson) had the pressure on in the second race before he went off. My team continue to give me a competitive car for every race and they deserve a lot of credit for our results this year."

JOHN HENDERSON (Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra): “We scored some good points today, but we didn't beat the BMW. I haven't given up. In the second race I got close to Paul (Morris), but then I got into the corner at the end of the back straight too hot under brakes and went into the sand. At least I got going again and finished third."

PETER HILLS (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): “We had a solid third in the first race and I couldn't complain with that. Then I had a good battle for second with Alan (Gurr) in the second race. There are no team orders and we were going flat-out. On the last lap Alan had a 'moment' and I got by him. The only disappointing thing is he wasn't able to gather it up again and finish third."

KERRY WADE (Kerry Wade Racing Ford Falcon): "We've been improving all season, and it was a great thrill to finally beat all the Commodores in the first race. Jason (Domaschenz) was right behind me, so I put in a couple of quick laps near the end to get the break I needed. I was sliding around, which you'd expect in hot weather, but all the V8s were in the same position."

TIM SHAW (Shaw Motorsport Holden Commodore): "It's been a tough weekend, but we're still leading the (Future Tourers) class. On Saturday the differential broke in the first qualifying session and we were playing catch-up after that. We didn't really expect to finish the first race. I was very gentle with the gear changes because we couldn't take any risks with the car. Then we came together with (Mark) Zonneveld and that tore the back off my rear bumper. We had to start the second race from the back of the grid. The finish was unbelievable. A wheel fell off on the last lap, but I just managed to get across the finish line. The points we scored could make all the difference at the end of the season."

<pre> RESULTS - RACE 1 (24 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 29:17.97 2. John Henderson (NSW) Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra 30:00.16 3. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 30:14.24 4. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 30:34.48 5. Allan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo Lap down 6. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Nissan Primera Lap down 7. Kerry Wade (WA) Kerry Wade Racing Ford Falcon Lap down 8. Jason Domaschenz (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore Lap down 9. Tim Shaw (Tas) Shaw Motorsport Holden Commodore Lap down 10. James Brock (Vic) Biante Model Cars Holden Commodore Lap down 11. John Saunders (WA) Kellahan Saunders BMW 318i Lap down 12. Andrew Gillespie (Vic) Gillespie Motorsport Ford Falcon 3 laps down 13. Matthew Fox (A.C.T.) Hi-Tech Motorsport Nissan Primera 3 laps down

FASTEST LAP: Morris 1-min 12.33-secs

RESULTS - RACE 2 (24 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 29:43.10 2. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 30:08.34 3. John Henderson (NSW) Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra 30:10.86 4. Alan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 30:12.25 5. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 30:20.49 6. Luke Searle (NSW) SAE College-Roadchill Express BMW 318i 30:21.35 7. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 30:55.30 8. Jason Domaschenz (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore 31:01.51 9. Kerry Wade (WA) Kerry Wade Racing Ford Falcon Lap down 10. Tim Shaw (Tas) Shaw Motorsport Holden Commodore Lap down 11. John Saunders (WA) Kellahan Saunders BMW 318i Lap down 12. James Brock (Vic) Biante Model Cars Holden Commodore Lap down 13. Matthew Fox (A.C.T.) Hi-Tech Motorsport Nissan Primera Lap down FASTEST LAP: Morris 1-min 13.12-secs

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 5): Morris 174, Henderson 98, Gurr 87, Auger 81, Hills 75, Searle 37, Letcher 31, McGill 24, Miller 22, Downard 14, Bewley 10, Cornish 10, Fox 9, Leabeater 8, Newman 8, Saunders 7, Robson 6, Stratton 5, Dale 4, Zonneveld 4, Rolfo 3, Fitzgerald 2

INDEPENDENTS CUP POINTS (after round 5): Auger 156, Searle 81, Letcher 66, Miller 52, Downard 33, Fox 32, Leabeater 24, Cornish 22, Saunders 22, Robson 20, Dale 14, Stratton 8, Rolfo 6, Fitzgerald 6

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 5): Knight Racing 232, McGill Motorsport 112, Hi-Tech Motorsport 89, Motorsport Developments 12

FUTURE TOURER POINTS (after round 4): Shaw 114, Domaschenz 80, D'Agostin 67, Wade 55, Brock 40, Webb 30, Sidebottom 24, Gillespie 16, Holt 12

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

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