ASTC: Calder Park Race Report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 8 CALDER PARK, VICTORIA: Race Report, Sunday, August 29 BMW driver Paul Morris today clinched the 1999 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title for the third time, despite...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 8 CALDER PARK, VICTORIA: Race Report, Sunday, August 29

BMW driver Paul Morris today clinched the 1999 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title for the third time, despite being overshadowed by Volvo’s Jim Richards in the eighth and final round at Calder Park in Melbourne.

Morris, driving an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320, finished second to Richards in all three races on the 2km circuit in fine conditions. The results left Morris with a championship tally of 264 points, with Richards on 262 in his factory front-drive Volvo Racing S40. Richards, who went into the round 12 points behind Morris, scored the maximum 46 points at Calder Park, and Morris earned 36.

Albury’s Brad Jones finished third in the championship on 186 points after scoring 28 from two third placings and a fourth at Calder Park. His Victorian team-mate Matthew Coleman was fourth in his debut year of Super Touring racing on 156 points.

Morris had previously won the championship in 1995 and again two years later as a BMW Motorsport works driver. The 31-year-old formed his own team, based on Queensland’s Gold Coast, this year. Richards set a record for most wins in a championship season. His Calder Park victories lifted his number of wins this year to 10, one better than the previous record of nine set by Jones in 1996.

In the opening race at Calder Park, over 14 laps, Morris blasted off the start line from fifth position on the grid and led into the first corner. Coleman collided with the works Volvo S40 of Queenslander Cameron McLean on lap one, and both drivers went off the track before resuming racing. Richards took the lead on lap three and won in 14-mins 10.24-secs, finishing 5.45-secs clear of Morris.

Richards won the second race over 18 laps in 18-mins 14.79-secs, with a 8.77-secs margin ahead of Morris, who was followed by Jones and McLean.

Morris led the championship by five points going into the final race over 27 laps, which included a compulsory pit-stop for all cars to change two wheels. In the opening stages Morris led from Richards, Jones, and McLean. However, Richards took the lead on lap seven, and Morris’ title prospects appeared in doubt when he slipped back to third behind Jones. The championship was decided in the pit-stops, with Morris’ team changing wheels in 11-secs. By comparison, Volvo took 24-secs to change the wheels on Richards’ car, and the Audi crew required 20-secs for Jones. The delays allowed Morris to regain the lead. Morris was later passed by Richards, but was able to finish second to claim the title.

Volvo won the manufacturers championship for the first time since entering the series in 1995. The Swedish manufacturer scored 294 points, while Audi were second on 261.

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “This is the most satisfying of my three championships. The first two were as a works driver and they were good, but it’s even better to do it with my own team. This was one of the closest seasons in the history of the championship, and it’s fantastic to come out on top over drivers like Jim Richards and the factory Volvo and Audi teams.”

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): “We had a strong finish to the end of the championship, but in the end we came up a couple of points short of what we needed. It was always going to be close. All I could do today was win the races and hope someone else could keep Paul (Morris) out of second place at least once. I’ve enjoyed the season - there have been so many close races.”

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “The Audi had plenty of speed, especially in the third race when we were mixing it with the Volvo and BMW until the pit-stops. Unfortunately we had a problem changing the wheels and we lost contact after that.”

PETER HILLS (Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo): “At the start of the season the aim for our team was to come first and second in the Independents Cup. To achieve that is a very good result and an improvement on past years. My team-mate Dean Canto has done exceptionally well this year. I’m sure we are going to hear a lot more about him in the future.”

RESULTS - RACE 1 (14 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 14:10.24 2. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 14:15.69 3. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 14:19.51 4. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 14:29.57 5. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 14:32.16 6. Cameron McLean (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 14:35.30 7. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 14:37.72 8. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 14:44.68 9. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 14:51.23 10. Luke Searle (NSW) Roadchill-SAE College BMW 318 14:55.10 FASTEST LAP: Richards 59.52-secs

RESULTS - RACE 2 (18 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 18:14.79 2. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 18:23.56 3. Brad Jones (NW) Audi Sport Australia A4 18:24.51 4. Cameron McLean (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 18:25.02 5. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 18:29.92 6. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 18:36.98 7. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 18:41.84 8. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 18:41.99 9. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 18:57.11 10. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 18:58.24 FASTEST LAP: Richards 59.90-secs

RESULTS - RACE 3 (27 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 28:09.16 2. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 28:10.63 3. Cameron McLean (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 28:11.86 4. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 28:22.11 5. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 28:24.39 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 28:41.63 7. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 28:49.42 8. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 28:53.92 9. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord Lap down 10. Luke Searle (NSW) Roadchill-SAE College BMW 318 Lap down FASTEST LAP: Richards 59.37-secs

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8 - final): Morris 264, Richards 262, Jones 186, Coleman 156, Hills 109, Adderton 75, Canto 66, Robson 47, Watts 40, Henderson 38, Newman 34, Auger 26, McLean 23, Williamson 17, McGill 15, L. Searle 10, Wall 8, Cornish 5, Townshend 3, Rea 3, Zonneveld 3, T. Searle 3, Elias 1, Leslight 1, Teulan 1, Stones 1

MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8 - final): Volvo 294, Audi 261

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8 - final): Volvo Racing 407, Audi Sport Australia 397, Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 219, Paul Morris Motorsport 115, Project Racing 109, TC Motorsport 44

INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 8 - final): Hills 273, Canto 178, Robson 152, Newman 118, Auger 111, Henderson 94, McGill 76, L. Searle 57, Watts 49, Cornish 44, Leslight 37, T. Searle 28, Wall 22, Zonneveld 21, Rea 19, Stones 19, Elias 19, Teulan 12, Townshend 8, Letcher 7, Downard 6

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Dean Canto , Paul Morris , Cameron McLean , Luke Searle , David Auger , Peter Hill , Anthony Robson
Teams Williams