ASTC: Oran Park Qualifying

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5 ORAN PARK, NSW: Qualifying Report, Saturday, July 17 MORRIS WINS POLE & SHARES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Queensland’s Paul Morris today became joint leader of the BOC Gases Australian Super...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5 ORAN PARK, NSW: Qualifying Report, Saturday, July 17

MORRIS WINS POLE & SHARES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Queensland’s Paul Morris today became joint leader of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship when he claimed pole position for tomorrow’s fifth round at Oran Park in Sydney.

Morris, driving an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320, earned one championship point for his pole position and joined Volvo’s Jim Richards in equal first position with a tally of 107. Morris claimed pole position with the best lap of 43.00-secs around the 1.9km Oran Park South Circuit in qualifying, held in fine conditions.

The 31-year-old Gold Coast driver said a decisive factor in his qualifying performance a new piston component in the NEMO shock absorbers on his car, designed by American-based Australian engineer Tim Neff. The part was designed specifically for qualifying.

Defending Super Touring champion Brad Jones will start alongside Morris on the front-row of the grid after qualifying second with 43.10-secs in an Audi Sport Australia A4. Richards secured third position in qualifying with 43.19-secs, followed by Jones’ Victorian team-mate Matthew Coleman with 43.45-secs.

The leading Independents Cup driver was Sydney’s Peter Hills, who qualified sixth with 44.55-secs in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo. After qualifying Hills announced that he had withdrawn from the championship’s Gas & Gears Cup for pre-1995 cars. Instead he will concentrate on attempting to win the Independents Cup, which he leads with 118 points.

DRIVER QUOTES:

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “The new shocks made all the difference. They are designed specifically for qualifying to maximise speed of a new tyre over a qualifying lap and they worked perfectly. I think we caught the others out with this technical innovation. We will put our regular shocks back in for the races tomorrow.”

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “That’s the fastest I’ve ever been around here (Oran Park) so I can’t complain. Hopefully I can get away quickly at the start because passing isn’t easy on this track. We seem to have caught up with the BMW and Volvos since the start of the season.”

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): “We won everything the last time we raced at Oran Park and we’ll give it our best shot again, although it’s going to be harder coming off the second row.”

PETER HILLS (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): “Even without John Henderson here this weekend it’s still close between the top guys in the Independents Cup. My team-mate Dean (Canto) is quick - they should put some cement in his boot to slow him down!”

QUALIFYING RESULTS (starting positions for race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 43.00-secs 2. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 43.10 3. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 43.19 4. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 43.45 5. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 43.85 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 44.55 7. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 44.58 8. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 44.59 9. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 44.74 10. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Nissan Primera 45.19 11. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 45.24 12. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Ford Mondeo 45.25 13. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 405 45.30 14. Allan Letcher (WA) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 46.20 15. Nigel Stones (NSW) Stones Racing Hyundai Lantra 46.40 16. Mike Downard (Vic) MPD Racing BMW 318 48.09

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Dean Canto , Paul Morris , Aaron McGill , David Auger , Peter Hill , Anthony Robson , Nigel Stones