Victorian Cameron McConville and German manufacturer Audi dominated the opening round of the 1998 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship in fine conditions at Calder Park in Melbourne today.

The 24 year old Melbourne driver won the first race of 18 laps and also the 35 lap second heat, which featured a compulsary pit stop for all cars. The only blemish for Audi Sport Australia was a controversial relegation from second to third for McConvilles team mate Brad Jones after a close finish with Queenslands Cameron McLean in the opening race. Jones, the 1996 Australian champion, later finished runner up to McConville in heat two.

McConville leads the championship with 30 points, followed by Jones and Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320 driver McLean on 22, and five times Bathurst 1000 champion Jim Richards on 18. Jones and McLean both finished with a second and third place, while Richards, who started from pole position in both races, had two fourth places in the races.

McConville won the opening race in 18-mins 10.11-secs, finishing 6.83 secs clear of McLean, who was 0.02-secs ahead of Jones, Originally Jones was credited with second place in front of McLean, but the judge of Fact later reversed the position after viewing a video tape of the cars crossing the finish line side by side. New Zealands Tony Newman crashed out on lap 15 qnd broke the rear suspension of his ex-works Peugeot 406.

In the second race McConville took the checkered flag in 35-mins 55.47-secs, and was 1.72-secs ahead of Jones at the finish. Richards was second for a lengthy period, but was forced to slow in the closing laps because of clutch problems. McLeans prospects of challenging the Audis were thwarted by a lenghty pit stop. McLeans stationary period in the pits was 31-secs, compared to McConville 15-secs, Jones 16-secs, and Richards 19-secs.

Audi leads the manufacturers championship with 30 points, followed by Volvo on 24. McLean holds first place in the Indeppendants Cup with 32 points, With NSW's Mark Adderton second on 24. Adderton was fifth in both races in his Attitude Clothing Honda Acc ord.


CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4):

"Two wins is a good way to start the championship and hopefully we can keep the momentum going. My starts helped - I won the race to the first corner both times and that made a difference."

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4):

"I'm annoyed at the decision (being relegated from second to third in race one). I can't see why somebody would come along an hour or so after the race and change the result. It should happen straight away or not at all."

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team S40):

"It was a day that promised a lot, but unfortunately things didn't go our way. We ran hard, but couldn't find a way past the Audis. I thought we may have got a second in the second race until the clutch problem."

TONY NEWMAN (Starion Enterprises Peurgeot 406):

"It was a big accident. I was hit on the previous lap, and when I came down the straight the car was unsettled. It wouldn't stay in a straight line. When I braked it locked up and I was a passenger along for the ride. The rear suspension is broken, and we'll have to get new uprights from Britain".

RESULTS - RACE 1 (18 Laps)

POS DRIVER CAR RACE TIME 1. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 18:10.11 2. C. McLean(Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 18:16.94 3. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 18:16.96 4. J. Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 18:17.52 5. M. Adderton (NSW) Attitude Clothing Honda Accord 18:53.89 6. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 18:59.38 7. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 18:59.72 8. D. Auger (Qls) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo Lap Down 9. A. Robson (NSW) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 Lap Down 10. P. Pickett (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap Down

FASTEST LAP : Richards 59.40 secs

RESULTS - RACE 2 (35 Laps)

POS DRIVER CAR LAP TIME 1. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 35:55.47 2. B. Jones (NSW)Audi Sport Australia A4 35:37.29 3. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 36:26.70 4. J. Richards Volvo Dealer Team S40 Lap Down 5. M. Adderton (NSW) Attitude Clothing Honda Accord Lap Down 6. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBS Vauxhall Cavalier Lap Down 7. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2 Laps Down 8. D. Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 2 Laps Down 9. P. Pickett (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2 Laps Down 10. B. Holden (NSW) Faber-Castell BMW 318 5 Laps Down

FASTEST LAP : Richards 59.35 secs


McConville 30, Jones 22, McLean 22, Richards 18, Adderton 12, Hills 9,Tweedie 9, Auger 6, Robson 2, Pickett 3, Holden 1


Audi 30, Volvo 24


McLean 32, Adderton 24, Hills 18, Tweedie 18, Auger 12, Robson 8, Pickett 9, Holden 7


Audi Sport Australia 54, Knight Racing 30, Faber-Castell/IBC Motorsport 28