BRABHAM TAKES LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP 22ND JUNE 1997 Press Release from TOCA Australia: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- JONES PROVIDES FIRST WIN IN 97 FOR AUDI - STEVEN RICHARDS EXCLUDED Former Le-mans...
BRABHAM TAKES LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP 22ND JUNE 1997 Press Release from TOCA Australia:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- JONES PROVIDES FIRST WIN IN 97 FOR AUDI - STEVEN RICHARDS EXCLUDED
Former Le-mans 24-hour race winner Geoff Brabham is the new leader of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship after emerging with most points in the third round of the series at Calder Park in Melbourne on Sunday (June 22).
Albury-based Brad Jones, the 1996 champion broke through for his first Victory of this years series when he won the first of the two 28-lap races in an ORIX Audi Sport Australia A4. The result ended rival German manufacturer BMWs winning streak in the four races in the previous two rounds at Lakeside in Queensland and Phillip Island in Victoria.
Jones led the race from start to finish and took the chequered flag 28-mins 12.75-secs, finishing 2.58-secs clear of Brabham in a BMW Motorsport 320, who was followed by Jones Victorian team-mate Cameron McConville, and five-times Bathurst 1000 champion Jim Richards in a Volvo Racing Australia 850. Brabham had started from the rear of the grid after being excluded from qualifying on Saturday (June 21) for failing to stop for a red light at a Weigh Station during a pit stop.
Previous championship leader Paul Morris was forced to retire after seven laps when a tyre on his BMW Motorsport 320 was damaged after contact with the Valvoline Nissan Primera of 1996 Independents Cup champion Steven Richards. Race Director Peter Wollerman later announced Richards had been excluded from the results of the race for driving without due care.
Brabham won the second race in 26-mins 55.66-secs, 0.60-secs ahead of Morris, who was followed by McConville, Jones and Jim Richards. The results left Brabham with 28 points for the round, Jones 24, and Mc Conville 20. Brabham, who trailed Morris by 14 points before Calder Park, now leads with an overall tally of 74, two clear of his team-mate and fellow-Gold Coast driver. McConville is third on 46 points, with Jones on 42.
South African Mike Briggs had a frustrating debut in the championship in his Team Petronas Ford Mondeo. A pre-race battery problem ended his assault on the opening race, and he finished seventh in the second heat after starting from the rear of the grid. The forth round of the championship is at Amaroo park in Sydney on July 20.
Geoff Brabham (BMW Motorsport 320I): After starting the first race from the back of the grid, I wasnt sure how things would turn out. As it happened the cards fell my way. I made a good start in the first race and managed to get onto the back of the lead group reasonably quickly. In the second race I got quickly from the pole and was able to keep Paul Morris just behind me.
Brad Jones (ORIX Audi Australia A4): Ive been sick with a virus the last couple of days so it wasnt easy out there. The new Dunlop tyres we had this week provide just magic - we were much more competitive and hopefully its going to stay that way. Cameron McConville) Also did a great job here and these results will give everyone in the team a lift.
Paul Morris(BMW Motorsport 320I): The first race was disappointing - coming through the second part of the chicane I turned left and was hit from behind. The impact pushed me off the track and cut out one of my tyres. It cost me a lot of points.
Steven Richards (Team Valvoline Nissan Primera): I felt Paul Morris was holding me up when we came together. He left a gap and when I tried to drive through it he came across in front of me and thats what caused the problem.
Mike Briggs (Team Petronas Ford Mondeo): The battery drained when the car was idling in pit lane before the first race. We had to change the battery and replace the plus to get going. In the second race I was behind the Richards family (Jim and Steven), but I couldnt close the gap.
Drivers Championship Points (after round 3):
Brabham 74 Morris 72 McConville 46 Jones 42 J Richards 40 McLean 28 S Richards 20 Matthews 20 Newman 15 Auger 13 Wakefield 10 Tweedie 8 Briggs 4 Cornish 2 Pickett 1 Manufacturers Championship Points (after round 3):
BMW 145 Audi 61 Volvo 54
Teams Championship Points (after round 3):
BMW 145 Audi 96 Hyundai 20
TOCA Challenge Independents Cup Points (after round 3):
Mclean 64 Matthews 54 S Richards 50 Newman 40 Auger 33 Wakefield 24 Tweedie 18 Briggs 12 Cornish 11 Pickett 4 Race 1
1 Brad Jones (VIC) ORIX Audi Sport Australia Audi A4 28:12.5732 quattro
2 Geoff Brabham BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320I 28:15.1594 (QLD)
3 Cameron ORIX Audi Sport Australia Audi A4 28:17.3003 McConville (VIC) quattro
4 Jim Richards Volvo Racing Volvo 850 28:37.8802 (VIC)
5 Cameron Mclean Greenfield Mowers Racing Opel Vectra 28:42.8310 (QLD)
6 Bob Tweedie (NSW) IBC Motorsport Vauxhall 28:28.4223 Cavalier
7 David Auger (QLD) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 28:44.1195 155TS 8 Tony Newman (NZ) Fastway Couriers Peugot 405 28:49.8067
9 Justin Matthews Fabre-Castell Racing BMW 318I 28:55.3033 (NSW) DNF Paul Morris (QLD) BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320I 17:25.9170 DNF Mike Briggs (SA) Team Petronas Touring Cars Ford Mondeo 22:15.8739
DNF Mark Adderton Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 12:42.2552 (NSW)
DIS Steven Richards Gary Rogers Team Nissan DNS (VIC) Valvoline/Cummins Primera Race 2
1 Geoff Brabham BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320I 26:55.6637 (QLD) 2 Paul Morris (QLD) BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320I 26:36.2635
3 Cameron ORIX Audi Sport Australia Audi A4 27:01.8112 McConville (VIC) quattro
4 Brad Jones (VIC) ORIX Audi Sport Australia Audi A4 27:03.0857 quattro
5 Jim Richards Volvo Racing Volvo 850 27:33.3003 (VIC)
6 Steven Richards Gary Rogers Team Nissan 27:41.5906 (VIC) Valvoline/Cummins Primera 7 Mike Briggs (SA) Team Petronas Touring Cars Ford Mondeo 27:38.7933
8 David Auger (QLD) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 27:46.0207 155TS
9 Justin Matthews Fabre-Castell Racing BMW 318I 27:55.3033 (NSW)
10 Cameron Mclean Greenfield Mowers Racing Opel Vectra 27:08.5058 (QLD) DNF Tony Newman (NZ) Fastway Couriers Peugot 405 23:33.2001
DNF Mark Adderton Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 11:10.9348 (NSW)
-- Brett Ramsey