ASTC: Lakeside report Rnd.7

Reposted from the TOCA Web site <http://www.toca.com.au> Morris closes on 2nd title in three years. BMW Motorsport driver Paul Morris moved a step closer to winning a second BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title in three...

Reposted from the TOCA Web site <http://www.toca.com.au>

Morris closes on 2nd title in three years.

BMW Motorsport driver Paul Morris moved a step closer to winning a second BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title in three years with a crushing victory in the seventh and penultimate round of the 1997 series at Lakeside in Queensland on Sunday (October 26).

The 29 year old from Queensland's Gold Coast, who previously won the title in 1995, took the chequered flag in both races at Lakeside, ahead of BMW Motorsport team-mates Geoff Brabham and Craig Baird. For Morris, the results left him with a remarkable record of nine wins from the past ten championship races on the 2.4km Lakeside track.

Morris' performance left him with a commanding 21 point lead in the championship going into the final round at Amaroo Park in Sydney on November 9. The results at Lakeside also assured BMW of the drivers championship, with arch rival ORIX Audi Sport Australia team-mates Cameron McConville and 1996 title holder Brad Jones dropping out of contention.

McConville finished fourth in the opening heat at Lakeside, behind the BMW Motorsport trio, and sixth in the second race after temporarily driving off the track when his gearbox jammed in fifth gear. Jones was forced to retire from race one because of a broken drive-shaft, and was seventh in the second heat.

Morris now leads the championship with 167 points, followed by Brabham on 146, McConville on 133, Jones on 114 and Volvo Dealer Team 850 driver Jim Richards on 100. Richards was fifth in the opening race at Lakeside and fourth in heat two. Morris now needs just 12 points at Amaroo Park to win the title. He and Brabham, who won the AMP Bathurst 1000 on October 5, are the only two drivers in contention for the championship. However, Jones has won the past six championship races at Amaroo Park.

The opening race at Lakeside was stopped on lap one after an incident which involved the FAI Insurance Honda Accord of Sydney's Warren Luff, Queensland's Kurt Ktrazmann in an OKI Hyundai Lantra, and the Fastaway Couriers Peugeot 405 of New Zealand's Tony Newman. Luff stalled on the grid, and Kratzmann and Newman collided - neither was able to continue when the race was re-started over 26 laps. Morris won in 23 mins 20.59 secs, 3.49 secs clear of Brabham, who led the first 18 laps.

In the second race over 27 laps Morris led from start to finish and won in 24 mins 3.07 secs, and was 3.75 secs ahead of Brabham. Baird completed a creditable debut in the championship by clocking a new race lap record of 52.50 secs, which was 0.14 secs inside the previous mark set by Morris in the championship opener on May 4.

Queensland's Cameron McClean was the leading Independent Car driver in both races, finishing sixth in a Greenfield Mowers Holden Vectra in race one and fifth in heat two. Steven Johnson, son of three-times Bathurst 1000 winner Dick Johnson, made an impressive debut by finishing seventh and eighth in the two races in a 1994- specification CPW BMW 318.

DRIVER QUOTES:

Paul Morris (BMW Motorsport 320I): "I had a long battle with Geoff (Brabham) in the first race. I managed to pass him after he lost momentum coming onto the main straight. Once again Lakeside has been good to me, as far as results are concerned. It's our team test track, and the BMWs always seem = to go well. The championship is going right down to the finish between Geoff and I and it's going to be good."

Geoff Brabham (BMW Motorsport 320I): "I had a problem with the steering in the first race. I held Paul (Morris) out for a long time and I'd been hoping to win, but it wasn't to be. Now that the championship is between Paul and I the pressure is off the team a little. It's now down to the two of us and I'll give it my best shot. Whatever happens the team has won the Bathurst 1000 and the championship so it's been a big year."

Cameron McConville (ORIX Audi Sport Australia A4): "It's disappointing I couldn't keep Audi in the championship until Amaroo because our cars have been so strong there in the last couple of years. In the second race I was third and running with the BMWs, then the gear jammed and I ran off. It cost me a couple of places and I spent the rest of the race playing catch-up."

Brad Jones (ORIX Audi Sort Australia A4): "We always seem to struggle at Lakeside. I can=92t wait for Amaroo - we=92re on a roll there and I=92d like nothing more than to beat the BMWs."

Jim Richards (Volvo Racing Australia 850): "The new car (1996 specification) was quicker than what we've run before, but we're still having problems making the tyres last the distance. It seems to be the same for all the front-wheel drive cars at this track (Lakeside)."

Lakeside Race One results:

POS DRIVER ENTRANT VEHICLE RACE TIME 1 P Morris BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 23 min 20.5932 2 G Brabham BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 23:24.0836 3 C Baird BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 23:24.3907 4 C McConville ORIX Audi Sport Audi A4 Quattro 23:40.5796 5 J Richards Volvo Racing Volvo 23:41.1086 6 C McLean Greenfield Mowers Racing Holden Vectra 23:51.0029 7 S Johnson CPW Motorsport BMW 318i 23:51.3467 8 M Adderton Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 23:47.5964 9 J Matthews Faber-Castell Racing BMW B36 23:50.7388

10 D Auger David Auger Alfa Romeo 155 24:13.6628 TS

Lakeside Race Two results:

POS DRIVER ENTRANT VEHICLE RACE TIME 1 P Morris BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 24 min 03.0726 2 G Brabham BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 24:06.8212 3 C Baird BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 24:07.0843 4 J Richards Volvo Racing Volvo 24:24.3567 5 C McLean Greenfield Mowers Racing Holden Vectra 24:26.9719 6 C McConville ORIX Audi Sport Audi A4 Quattro 24:27.4760 7 B Jones ORIX Audi Sport Audi A4 Quattro 24:39.6036 8 S Johnson Faber-Castell Racing Alfa Romeo 155TS 24:49.5011 9 J Matthews Faber-Castell Racing BMW B36 24:22.9312

10 D Auger David Auger Alfa Romeo 155 24:49.4351 TS

Drivers Championship (after round 7):

Morris 167; Brabham 146; McConville 133; Jones 114; Jim Richards 100; McClean 67; S Ricahrds 39; Matthews 28; Newman 23; Bairs 20; Auger 20; Tweedie 19; Bates 14; Wakefield 10; Jason Ricahrds 7; Johnson 7; Adderton 6; Briggs 4; Cornish 3; Hills 2; Pickett 1.

Manufacturers Championship Points (after round 7):

BMW 190, Audi 170, Volvo 138.

Team Championship Points (after round 7):

BWM Motorsport 314; ORIX Audi Sports Australia 271; Hyundai HVE Motorsport 31; Knight Racing 22; Fastaway Racing 9.

TOCA Challenge Independents Cup Points (after round 7):

McClean 174; S Richards 110; Matthews 97; Auger 77; Newman 74; Tweedie 72; Bates 34; Hills 30; Wakefield 24; Johnson 24; Jason Richards 23; Adderton 20; Cornish 16; Briggs 12; Pickett 6, Bewley 4; Thompson 4.

Brett Ramsey "DEMOCRACY IS A TRADGEDY WHEN THE MAJORITY ARE FOOLS" Don't know who wrote it but I like it.

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Series General
Drivers Steven Johnson , Cameron McConville , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Craig Baird , Paul Morris , Jason Richards , David Auger , Warren Luff , Dick Johnson , Geoff Brabham