ASTC: Morris wins Mallala pole

All-conquering BMW driver Paul Morris today extended his superb qualifying record in this year's BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship when he claimed pole position for both races in tomorrow's fifth round of the series at Mallala near...

All-conquering BMW driver Paul Morris today extended his superb qualifying record in this year's BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship when he claimed pole position for both races in tomorrow's fifth round of the series at Mallala near Adelaide.

The 33-year-old championship leader from the Gold Coast won pole position for the first of tomorrow's two 24-lap races when he emerged fastest in today's opening qualifying session. He clocked the best lap of 1-min 11.70-secs around the 2.6km circuit in his Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i in warm and overcast conditions.

Later, Morris claimed pole position for race two with the quickest lap of 1-min 11.92-secs in the second qualifying session. Morris' qualifying performances at Mallala mean he has now won nine successive pole positions in this year's championship. As well, he scored two bonus championship points for his pole positions at Mallala, which boosted his series lead to 68.

NSW's Peter Hills qualified second for the opening race in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo, and his best lap was 1.49-secs behind Morris. Hills finished one place ahead of Sydney policeman John Henderson, who is second in the championship in a Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra. Henderson qualified second for race two, followed by Sydney drivers Allan Gurr in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo and Jim Cornish in a Visit Your Vet Honda Accord.

Queensland's David Auger was the leading Independents Cup driver in both qualifying sessions in a Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo. Victorian Jason Domaschenz qualified fastest for both races in the V8 Future Tourers class in a Holden Commodore.

PAUL MORRIS (Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i): “It's good to win pole for both races because in the past we've sometimes struggled here. The car set-up on the BMW was almost perfect, despite missing practice yesterday. We've previously raced here in Winter, and the warmer weather and track conditions make it easier to get the tyres up to operating temperature for that one quick lap you need in qualifying."

JOHN HENDERSON (Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra): "We had a broken sway-bar in the first (qualifying) session, otherwise I'm sure we would have been on the front row. The car was obviously difficult to drive and I had a spin, but luckily there was no damage to the car. The second session was a better indication of where we are compared to the others."

PETER HILLS (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): "Everyone got excited after we put the car on the front-row in the first session, but realistically John (Henderson) had a problem. Paul (Morris) and 'Hendo' have the good gadgets and they're both driving well. We've pretty competitive compared to everyone else."

JASON DOMASCHENZ (APS Racing Holden Commodore): “This is my first time at Mallala and things are going really well. I was told this track is hard on brakes, but it hasn't caused us any problems so far. There's nothing between the top four or five in the Future Tourers so it should be close between the Commodores and Falcons." <pre> QUALIFYING - SESSION 1 LAP TIMES (starting positions Race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 1:11.70 2. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.19 3. John Henderson (NSW) Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra 1:13.23 4. Alan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.28 5. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Honda Accord 1:13.40 6. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:14.81 7. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 1:14.84 8. Jason Domaschenz (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore 1:14.97 9. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Nissan Primera 1:15.11 10. Kerry Wade (WA) Kerry Wade Racing Ford Falcon 1:15.22 11. Tim Shaw (Tas) Shaw Motorsport Holden Commodore 1:15.66 12. Ray Sidebottom (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore 1:15.78 13. James Brock (Vic) Biante Model Cars Holden Commodore 1:15.83 14. Matthew Fox (A.C.T.) Hi-Tech Motorsport Nissan Primera 1:15.90 15. John Saunders (WA) Kellahan Saunders BMW 318i 1:18.27

QUALIFYING - SESSION 2 LAP TIMES (starting positions Race 2): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) Mount Cotton Estate Winery BMW 320i 1:11.92 2. John Henderson (NSW) Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra 1:12.36 3. Alan Gurr (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.25 4. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Honda Accord 1:13.29 5. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.47 6. David Auger (Qld) Leatherman Racing Alfa Romeo 1:14.43 7. Jason Domaschenz (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore 1:15.12 8. Matthew Fox (A.C.T.) Hi-Tech Motorsport Nissan Primera 1:15.24 9. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:15.35 10. James Brock (Vic) Biante Model Cars Holden Commodore 1:15.75 11. Kerry Wade (WA) Kerry Wade Racing Ford Falcon 1:15.76 12. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Nissan Primera 1:15.78 13. Ray Sidebottom (Vic) APS Racing Holden Commodore 1:16.36 14. John Saunders (WA) Kellahan Saunders BMW 318i 1:17.89 15. Andrew Gillespie (Vic) Gillespie Motorsport Ford Falcon 1:18.39

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

WEBSITE: www.toca.com.au (high resolution photographs available)

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