ASTC: Lakeside Practice


BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5 LAKESIDE, QUEENSLAND: Practice Report, Friday, June 26 SEARLE CRASHES AT 210km/h - RICHARDS FASTEST Newcastle's Independents Cup driver Troy Searle escaped injury when his Roadchill BMW 318 slammed into a trackside barrier at 210km/h at Lakeside on Friday (June 26) in practice for the fifth round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship on Sunday (June 28). The 23-year-old Operations Manager crashed after losing control of his car on the fast right-hand corner entering the main straight. Searle's car skipped over the kerbing and the impact with the barrier destroyed the front suspension uprights and brake discs, and damaged panels along right side of the car. After assessing the damage, Searle said the car would be repaired in time for the two 25-lap races. Searle finished a career-best third in race two of the previous round of the championship at Eastern Creek on June 7, his first podium result in his debut year of Super Touring driving. Multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards was fastest in practice with a lap time of 51.94-secs around the 2.4km circuit in a works Volvo Dealer Team S40. The time was 0.56-secs inside the race lap record of 52.50-secs set by New Zealand's Craig Baird in a BMW Motorsport 320 eight months ago. Richards set his best time in the second of the three practice sessions, and did not drive in the final session. His car featured an updated aerodynamic package sourced from Great Britain. Queensland's Cameron McLean was second quickest in practice at Lakeside with 52.14-secs in a Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320, followed by Audi Sport Australia team-mates Brad Jones and Cameron McConville. Richards and Jones share the championship lead with 95 points, followed by McConville on 87, and McLean 58. DRIVER QUOTES: TROY SEARLE (Roadchill BMW 318): "I crashed after changing to fifth gear too early. The rear came around on me and then the car flew over the ripple strip and into the wall. It was a big hit! I'm okay, but the car isn't too flash, although we will get it right for Sunday. There's nothing in the damage we can't fix." JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team S40: "We had done the fastest time and there wasn't any sense wearing the car out for a few hundredths of a second. That's why we sat out the last session. We also did a race run of 17 or 18 laps and the tyres were still great at the end so there wasn't much more to do. It's pretty hard to tell what effect the new 'aero' kit has had because we've never driven the S40 in real anger here before." CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "I did my best time on new tyres, but they were only good for a lap or two. I'll race with a harder compound - they are fractionally slower over one lap, but better for consistent speed over a race distance. Tyres are important at Lakeside. A lot of races are won and lost here in the last five laps." BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "I'm hot happy with the balance of the car, but our lap times are more than half-a-second quicker than I've ever been around here. We've never done well here, but maybe that's about to change." PRACTICE TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 51.94-secs 2. Cameron McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 52.14 3. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 52.22 4. Cameron McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 52.30 5. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill BMW 318 54.37 6. Ron Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 54.38 7. Peter Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 54.65 8. Justin Matthews (NSW) Faber-Castell BMW 318 54.69 9. Kurt Kratzmann (Qld) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 55.32 10. Bob Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 55.45

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Series General
Drivers Cameron McConville , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Craig Baird , Cameron McLean , Peter Hill , Justin Matthews