ASTC: Winton Friday Practice Report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 WINTON, VICTORIA: Practice Report, Friday, August 7 JONES HAS ENGINE FAILURE - McCONVILLE FASTEST An engine failure during practice at Winton Raceway today proved a setback to Albury...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 WINTON, VICTORIA: Practice Report, Friday, August 7

JONES HAS ENGINE FAILURE - McCONVILLE FASTEST

An engine failure during practice at Winton Raceway today proved a setback to Albury driver Brad Jones’ hopes of clinching the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title this Sunday (August 9).

Jones, who will claim the title at Winton if he can increase his championship lead from 20 points to 33, was forced to withdraw from practice after a making a gear selection error in his works Audi A4 quattro on the opening lap of the third and final session. The 38-year-old Audi Sport Australia driver said the mistake damaged the engine in his car and his team would replace it with a new unit for tomorrow’s two qualifying sessions. Jones, who won the Super Touring title for the first time in 1996, finished fourth in practice with a lap of 1-min 25.44-secs in the second session before his engine failure.

Victorian Cameron McConville emerged quickest in practice with a lap of 1-min 24.91-secs around the tight 3km Winton circuit in another works Audi. All three practice sessions were held in fine conditions. Jim Richards, driving a front-drive Volvo Dealer Team S40, was second with 1-min 25.36-secs, followed by Queenslander Cameron McLean with 1-min 25.42-secs in a Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320. The top four all bettered the race lap record of 1-min 25.71-secs set by Paul Morris in a works BMW 320 in 1997.

Independents Cup drivers Mark Adderton and Peter Hills, both of NSW, collided in the second session. The front of Adderton’s BOC Gases Honda Accord was damaged by the contact with Hills’ Knight Racing Ford Mondeo. Neither driver was injured.

DRIVER QUOTES:

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "I grabbed the wrong gear and buzzed the engine, so it was my fault. I went to change up from fourth to fifth, and instead went back to third. It went over the precautionary limit so we have to change it. The engine was new - we ran it for the first time in practice yesterday (Thursday). We will put another new engine in for qualifying and the races. The worst part is losing track time and missing out on the chance to keep improving the car."

CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4): "The speed and balance of the car are good, but we still haven’t finalised what tyres we will run on. We spent most of practice sorting through tyres trying to come up with something that will be consistent over a race distance. Tyres are going to be important here."

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team S40: "We’re not the fastest, but we’re not far off the others either. I’m quite pleased because we’re competitive and we’re not destroying tyres doing our lap times. The championship is still alive."

PETER HILLS (Knight Racing Ford Mondeo): "My car was understeering off the track and Mark (Adderton) tagged me from behind. There was nothing he could do. We’re struggling here. We tried changing gear ratios, but that made the car worse. I’m disappointed because we went so well at the last round (Mallala, July 19)."

PRACTICE TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Cameron McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 1:24.91 2. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 1:25.36 3. Cameron McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 1:25.42 4. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 1:25.44 5. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express BMW 318 1:28.60 6. Ron Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 1:28.80 7. Mark Adderton (NSW) BOC Gases Honda Accord 1:29.03 8. Adam Kaplan (NSW) Hunter Holden Nissan Primera 1:29.20 9. Tony Newman (NZ) Fastway Couriers Peugeot 406 1:29.28 10. Anthony Robson (NSW) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 1:29.70

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Series General
Drivers Cameron McConville , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Paul Morris , Cameron McLean , Peter Hill