ASTC: Bathhurst Qualifying Friday Report

Mount Panorama motor racing legend Jim Richards brushed aside $15,000 damage to his works Volvo S40 to dominate Super Touring qualifying today at the Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst ‘99 event. Richards, a six-times Bathurst 1000 champion, recorded...

Mount Panorama motor racing legend Jim Richards brushed aside $15,000 damage to his works Volvo S40 to dominate Super Touring qualifying today at the Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst ‘99 event.

Richards, a six-times Bathurst 1000 champion, recorded the quickest lap in the opening qualifying session with a time of 2-mins 18.28-secs in cool conditions. He set the time on his 16th and final lap of the session. The time was 1.48-secs outside the Super Touring race lap record set by Briton Jason Plato in a Williams-Renault in 1997. Richards finished 1.76-secs clear of 1999 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Champion Paul Morris, who was second fastest in a NEMO Racing BMW 320.

In the earlier practice session Richards’ car sustained serious front-end damage after contact with Morris’ BMW. The incident occurred at McPhillamy Park when the Volvo was being driven by Richards’ team-mate, Queenslander Cameron McLean. The Volvo speared across the track into a concrete wall and then slid into a sand-trap. The chassis rail on the Volvo was bent and the radiator, oil cooler, suspension mounting points, and front spoiler were replaced before qualifying.

Sydney teenager Dean Canto qualified third in the Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo he is driving with Leanne Ferrier, followed by NSW team-mates Peter Hills and Ron Searle who were slowed by clutch problems. The second works Volvo S40, raced by New Zealand’s Craig Baird and Victorian Matthew Coleman, was fifth.

Super Touring events at Bathurst comprise a 100km race tomorrow and a 500km event on Sunday.

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): “The team did a fantastic job fixing the car and getting it race-ready again before qualifying. At this stage the track is still a little dusty, but conditions will improve when more rubber is put down.”

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “We expected the Volvo to be quickest, but we have a factory-prepared engine (from BMW Motorsport in Germany) to go into the car tomorrow night. I’m sure we will be closer in race-trim. I was on a ‘hot’ lap when the Volvo and I came together. I had the headlights on, but I guess the guys in front didn’t see me until it was too late.”

CAMERON McLEAN (Volvo Racing S40): “Going into McPhillamy (Park) I was stuck behind a slower car and the BMW caught up and tried to go down the inside. There was contact between us, and then my car spun into the wall and ended up in the gravel.”

DEAN CANTO (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): “This is my first time at Bathurst apart from doing a few laps in a production car last year. The car was nicely balanced across the top of the Mountain. You wouldn’t want to come unstuck around here - it’s not very forgiving with all the concrete walls.”

QUALIFYING TIMES (session 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards-Cameron McLean Volvo Racing S40 2:18.28 2. Paul Morris NEMO Racing BMW 320 2:20.04 3. Dean Canto-Leanne Ferrier Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 2:23.26 4. Peter Hills-Ron Searle Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 2:23.89 5. Craig Baird-Matthew Coleman Volvo Racing S40 2:24.45 6. Troy Searle-Luke Searle Roadchill-SAE College BMW 318 2:25.24 7. Aaron McGill-Don Pulver Trinovin Ford Mondeo 2:27.15 8. Mike Kilpatrick-Jamie Miller Archerfield Speed Karts Toyota Camry 2:31.18 9. Allan Letcher-Jenni Thompson Grid Motorsport BMW 318 2:31.91 10. Damien White-Rod Salmon Mitsubishi Lancer 2:31.96


Multiple Australian production car champion Peter Fitzgerald emerged fastest in today’s second qualifying session for the Bathurst Tourers V8 event over 300km on Sunday.

The 49-year-old Victorian, who is driving a Powermac Racing Products Holden Commodore with Darren McDonald, clocked the quickest lap of 2-mins 28.01-secs. Fitzgerald finished 1.92-secs clear of Marshall Brewer in a Bruce Williams Motorsport Commodore. James Brock, the 23-year-old son of nine-times Bathurst 1000 champion Peter Brock, was third in a Biante Model Cars Commodore.

Victorian Ray Sidebottom, who had been quickest in yesterday’s opening qualifying session, was fourth in the Australian Petroleum Supplies Commodore he is driving with Andrew McInnes.

QUALIFYING TIMES (session 2): POS DRIVERS CAR TIME 1. Peter Fitzgerald-Darren McDonald Powermac Racing Products Commodore 2:28.01 2. Marshall Brewer-Terry Wyhoon Bruce Williams Motorsport Commodore 2:29.93 3. James Brock Biante Model Cars Commodore 2:30.95 4. Ray Sidebottom-Andrew McInnes Australian Petroleum Supplies Commodore 2:31.06 5. Jason Wylie Jason Wylie Racing Commodore 2:32.32

Mike Porter

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Series General
Drivers Jason Plato , Jim Richards , Dean Canto , Craig Baird , Paul Morris , Cameron McLean , Bob Jane , Peter Brock , Peter Fitzgerald , Luke Searle , Rod Salmon , Aaron McGill , James Brock , Mike Kilpatrick , Peter Hill , Damien White , Terry Wyhoon , Andrew McInnes
Teams Williams