BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 2 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, April 26 JONES WINS & DRAWS LEVEL IN SERIES LEAD Albury's Brad Jones dominated today's second round of the 1998 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 2 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, April 26
JONES WINS & DRAWS LEVEL IN SERIES LEAD
Albury's Brad Jones dominated today's second round of the 1998 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park and drew level with works Audi team-mate Cameron McConville at the top of the points table.
Jones won both races on the 1.9km Oran Park short-circuit in fine conditions in an Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro, while McConville had two second places. They are now equal first in the eight-round championship with 54 points, with Jim Richards third on 38 after finishing third in both races at Oran Park in his Volvo Dealer Team S40. In the second heat Jones clocked a new race lap record of 42.80-secs, which was 0.29-secs inside the previous mark of 43.09-secs by Queensland's Paul Morris in a works BMW 320 in 1996.
Queensland's Cameron McLean led the opening 12 laps of the first race in a Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320, followed by Jones, McConville, and Richards. Jones took the lead on lap 13, and two laps later McLean was forced to retire because of a broken steering shaft after he collided with the Hyundai Lantra of NSW's Claude Elias. McLean was attempting to lap Elias when contact was made.
Jones eventually took the chequered flag after completing 21 laps in 15-mins 34.53-secs, finishing 3.35-secs clear of McConville, who was followed by Richards, and 27-year-old Sydney policeman John Henderson in an Opel Vectra. Henderson was the leading Independents Cup driver, and his result was his best in the four rounds of the championship he has contested since 1996. NSW's Trevor Sheumack made a creditable championship debut with fifth place in the Faber-Castell BMW 318.
The second race was contested over 41 laps and included a compulsory pit stop for all cars. Jones won in 30-mins 41.95-secs, and had a margin of 1.19-secs ahead of McConville. Richards was again third, with McLean fourth and first of the Independents Cup drivers. Jones earned the maximum 32 points from the round. He scored two points for his two pole positions on Saturday and 15 for each of his race wins. Since Jones made his championship debut in 1995 he now has 10 pole positions and 17 race wins.
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "It was a perfect day for our team - first and second in both races is something you always aim for, but it's not easy to do so you appreciate it when it happens. In the first race McLean made a blinder of a start in the BMW. He was fast for a long time, but then I could see he was losing pace. He had a wobble coming onto the main straight and I was able to get up the inside of him and pass. Our team made a quick pitstops for both cars in the second race and that was a plus for us. It's good to be leading the championship with Cameron (McConville), but it's still early days and we're not over-confident. The Volvo and BMW should be quick at the next race at Phillip Island (May 17)"
CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4): "Brad (Jones) was faster than me all week and he had good speed in both races. I seemed to struggle here, and never got on top it. In the circumstances second was as good as I could have expected."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team 850): "Oran Park suits the Audis more than the (front-wheel-drive) Volvo, but we were competitive. The next race is at Phillip Island - it's a faster track and maybe we will have an advantage there."
CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "It felt really good leading the first race - it's the first time I've been in front in Super Touring. Brad (Jones) was right there all the time, but I felt comfortable at the speed we were running. Just after Brad passed me we came up on some slower cars and the Hyundai and I came together. It broke the steering shaft and I speared across the infield."
JOHN HENDERSON (Henderson Racing Opel Vectra): "You spend a lot of time banging your head against a brick wall wondering if you're ever going to get a good result, but when it happens, like today, it makes the effort worthwhile. To finish fourth (in race one) was just incredible because we'd had all kinds of problems in practice. I was aggressive into the first corner and got past a few cars, and then held it together in the race. Afterwards we found we had a problem with the engine and we couldn't start the second race."
RESULTS - RACE 1 (21 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 15:34.53 2. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 15:37.88 3. J. Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 15:38.42 4. J, Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Opel Vectra 16:10.20 5. T. Sheumack (NSW) Faber-Castell Racing BMW 318 16:13.51 6. R. Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 16:21.27 7. M. Adderton (NSW) Attitude Clothing Honda Accord Lap down 8. P. Pickett (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down 9. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier Lap down 10. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down FASTEST LAP: Jones 43.05-secs
RESULTS - RACE 2 (41 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 30:41.95 2. C. McConville (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 30:42.14 3. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 30:42.81 4. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320 30:54.95 5. M. Adderton (NSW) Attitude Clothing Honda Accord Lap down 6. R. Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 2 Laps down 7. A. Kaplan (NSW) Hunter Holden Nissan Primera 2 Laps down 8. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2 Laps down 9. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 3 Laps down 10. D. Bewley (NZ) Fastway Couriers Peugeot 405 3 Laps down FASTEST LAP: Jones 42.80-secs
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2): Jones 54, McConville 54, Richards 38, McLean 30, Adderton 22, Hills 13, Tweedie 13, R. Searle 10, Henderson 8, Auger 6, Pickett 6, Sheumack 6, Kaplan 4, Robson 2, Holden 1, Bewley 1
MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2): Audi 60, Volvo 48
INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2): McLean 49, Adderton 44, Hills 28, Tweedie 28, R. Searle 20, Pickett 17, Henderson 15, Auger 14, Sheumack 12, Kaplan 10, Robson 8, Holden 7, Bewley 4, T. Searle 3, Newman 3
TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 2): Audi Sport Australia 108, Knight Racing 66, Faber-Castell/IBC 28.