BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 8 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, August 30 JONES WINS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FOR AUDI Works Audi driver Brad Jones claimed the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title for...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 8 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, August 30
JONES WINS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FOR AUDI
Works Audi driver Brad Jones claimed the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title for the second time in three years when he topscored in points in the title-deciding eighth and final round of the 1998 series at Oran Park in Sydney today.
The 38-year-old from Albury scored 28 points at Oran Park, and boosted his championship tally to 190. He finished second in the opening race over 12 laps, and won the second heat over 31 laps. Jones' Audi Sport Australia team-mate Cameron McConville finished second in the championship on 184 points. The 24-year-old Victorian earned 26 points at Oran Park after winning race one and finishing third in heat two.
Volvo Dealer Team driver Jim Richards, who was also in contention for the title, added only eight points to his tally at Oran Park and finished third in the championship with a total of 163. The five-times Bathurst 1000 champion was fourth in race one in his front-drive Volvo S40 and crashed in the second heat.
McConville won the first race in an Audi A4 quattro in 21-mins 21.91-secs, finishing 0.60-secs clear of Jones, who was followed by Independents Cup champion Cameron McLean in a Greenfield Mowers BMW 320, and Richards. The race was scheduled for 16 laps, but was stopped after contact between the Roadchill Express BMW 318 of Newcastle's Troy Searle and the Fastway Couriers Peugeot 406 of New Zealand's Tony Newman. Searle's car was stranded in the middle of a right-hand corner after the incident. Jones was leading at the time, but the result was determined from positions at the end of the penultimate lap before the incident when McConville held first place. Earlier in the race a Safety Car had circulated for three laps while the Hunter Holden Nissan Primera of Sydney's Adam Kaplan was moved from a sandpit.
The second race included a compulsory pitstop for all cars to change two wheels. Jones led the opening nine laps until making his pitstop. McConville, Richards, and McLean all led for brief periods in the middle stages of the race until the top four had all completed their pitstops. Jones then resumed in the lead, closely followed by McLean, and the pair exchanged the lead in a battle to the chequered flag. Eventually Jones won in 37-mins 31.62-secs, finishing 0.91-secs clear of McLean. Richards crashed at the end of the main straight at more than 200km/h on lap 19 after the rear spoiler on his Volvo became dislodged. Newman, Troy Searle, and BOC Gases Honda Accord driver Mark Adderton both retired because of mechanical problems.
Audi claimed the Manufacturers Championship title with 234 points to Volvo's 186. Audi Sport Australia also won the Teams Championship with 204 points, with Knight Racing second on 136.
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "This second championship means more than the first because the competition was tougher this season. It's also a thrill for our team and Audi to go one-two in the championship. Cameron (McConville) pushed me hard for the title, but at the same time we were able to work together on set-ups and improving the car. I've also got to thank my crew for doing such great pitstops, which were vital in the championship. Now we've got to win Bathurst (AMP Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama on October 4)."
CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4): "I'm disappointed not to win the title, but it's satisfying to be part of Audi's success this year. It's been an up-and-down season for me. I had some good wins, but Lakeside cost me. Going into today's last race I was only one point behind Brad (Jones), but one of the tyres wasn't right and I couldn't run at the front."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team S40): "The rear wing came off down the straight and I went off into the dirt. It's a shame because we'd finished every race this year up to then and our consistency had kept us in with a chance of winning the championship. Volvo gave it everything, I did my best, but at the end of the day Audi probably deserved it."
CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "I really wanted to win that second race. I'd set myself a goal of winning a race this year, and I pushed on the best I could. At one stage Brad (Jones) and I were rubbing panels. When I got to the front I tried to make a break, but it wasn't to be."
RESULTS - RACE 1 (12 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 21:21.91 2. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 21:22.51 3. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 32021:26.99 4. J. Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 21:29.33 5. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 21:43.71 6. M. Adderton (NSW) BOC Gases Honda Accord 21:47.26 7. R. Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 21:48.57 8. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 21:55.35 9. T. Newman (NZ) Fastway Couriers Peugeot 406 21:57.63 FASTEST LAP: Jones 1-min 10.04-secs
RESULTS - RACE 2 (31 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 37:31.62 2. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 32037:32.53 3. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 38:07.75 4. T. Sheumack (Vic) Audi A4 38:17.83 5. M. Zonneveld (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down 6. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down 7. R. Wilson (Vic) Motorsport Concepts BMW 318 2 laps down 8. R. Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 2 laps down 9. D. Auger (NSW) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 155 2 laps down 10. G. Dodd (NZ) Honda Accord 2 laps down
FASTEST LAP: Jones 1-min 10.43-secs
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8): Jones 190, McConville 184, Richards 163, McLean 142, Adderton 79, Hills 70, Tweedie 43, R. Searle 31, T. Searle 27, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews-Nelson 25, Auger 25, Pickett -Shaw-McGill-Kratzmann-Zonneveld 25, Kaplan 19, Sheumack 14, Robson 13, Henderson 8, Bewley 5, Newman 4, Wilson 4, Dodd 1
MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8): Audi 234, Volvo 186
INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8): McLean 226, Adderton 146, Hills 134, Tweedie 92, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews-Nelson 72, R. Searle 60, Auger 59, Pickett-Shaw-McGill-Kratzmann-Zonneveld 59, T. Searle 50, Kaplan 43, Robson 37, Newman 16, Henderson 15, Bewley 14, Rolfo-Wilson 13, Dodd 4
TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8): Audi Sport Australia 204, Knight Racing 136
NOTE: In the post-race press conference the Managing Director of Volvo Car Australia, Mr Jan Eriksson, announced the Swedish manufacturer hoped to enter a two-car team in the 1999 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship.