BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 MALLALA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Qualifying Report, Saturday, May 29 MORRIS MASTERS WET WEATHER AT MALLALA Queensland's Paul Morris mastered wet weather at Mallala in his BMW today to claim...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 MALLALA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Qualifying Report, Saturday, May 29
MORRIS MASTERS WET WEATHER AT MALLALA
Queensland's Paul Morris mastered wet weather at Mallala in his BMW today to claim pole position for both races in tomorrow's third round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship.
The 31-year-old Gold Coast driver earned the right to start from the front of the grid in the opening race over 16 laps when he emerged fastest in the opening qualifying session today in damp conditions. Morris, champion in 1995 and again two years later, clocked the best qualifying lap of 1-min 12.31-secs around the 2.6km circuit in a rear-drive ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320. The time was 2.06-secs outside the race lap record of 1-min 10.25-secs set by Albury's Brad Jones in an Audi A4 in 1998.
Joining Morris on the front-row of the grid in the first race will be championship leader Jim Richards, who qualified second with 1-min 12.82-secs in a works front-drive Volvo S40. The second row of the grid will comprise Victorian Matthew Coleman and Audi Sport Australia team-mate Jones. Sydney Independents Cup driver Anthony Robson, who has previously raced a 1993-specification BMW 318 in the championship, made an impressive debut in a Honda Accord and qualified a career-best fifth.
The second qualifying session, which determined starting positions for tomorrow's 25-lap feature race, was held in rain. Morris again claimed pole position, 0.21-secs clear of Richards, after the pair exchanged first position throughout the session. Works Volvo newcomer Mark Adderton qualified an impressive third, followed by Sydney's Peter Hills in a Ford Mondeo. Hills was the top Independents Cup driver in the session. Jones qualified 10th after being hampered by driveline problems.
Morris earned two championship points for his pole positions. Richards still leads the championship with 55 points, followed on 40 by Englishman Patrick Watts, who is not racing at Mallala, and Morris on 39. Jones is fourth on 36.
PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): "We were quickest in the dry in practice yesterday, and after the qualifying results in the wet I'd say we can handle whatever the weather throws at us. The rear-drive of the BMW will help me get off the line, but the Volvo is quicker with top-speed."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): "The second session was good fun. The Volvo guys in the pits were on the radio saying I'd gone fastest, so I'd relax. Then they would tell me Paul (Morris) was back in front so I'd have to get going again. There wasn't much between us in qualifying us, and I think we're going to be close in race-trim as well."
ANTHONY ROBSON (Project Racing Honda Accord): "The Honda is much faster than the BMW I've been racing. I was able to pull away from guys who usually go past me without any trouble. I'm still getting the hang of front-drive, especially the cornering, but I've never been so far up the grid before so I couldn't be happier."
QUALIFYING - SESSION 1 (starting positions Race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:12.31 2. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 1:12.82 3. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:13.14 4. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:13.60 5. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:15.05 6. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:15.11 7. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 1:15.31 8. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 1:15.64 9. Aaron McGill (NSW) Dux Water Ford Mondeo 1:16.13 10. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 1:16.32
QUALIFYING - SESSION 2 (starting positions Race 2): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:16.77 2. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 1:16.98 3. Mark Williamson (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 1:18.50 4. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:18.66 5. Matthew Coleman (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:18.71 6. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:18.77 7. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 1:18.87 8. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:20.27 9. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:20.54 10. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:20.93
Mike Porter email@example.com