BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 MALLALA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Qualifying Report, Friday, May 28 MORRIS FASTEST AT MALLALA BMW driver Paul Morris today ended the domination by Jim Richards and Volvo in this year's BOC...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 MALLALA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Qualifying Report, Friday, May 28
MORRIS FASTEST AT MALLALA
BMW driver Paul Morris today ended the domination by Jim Richards and Volvo in this year's BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship when he emerged fastest in practice for the third round of the series at Mallala on Sunday.
Morris, champion in 1995 and 1997, clocked a best lap of 1-min 11.34-secs around the 2.6km circuit in an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320 in cool conditions. The 31-year-old Queenslander finished 0.24-secs clear of championship leader Richards, who was second quickest in a Volvo Racing S40. Morris set his fastest lap in the first session after his car was fitted with a new roll-bar designed by team manager Greg Wooster at their Gold Coast workshop. Richards, who won both races in the previous round at Oran Park in Sydney on May 2, did not participate in the final session.
Victorian Matthew Coleman was third quickest, followed by Audi Sport Australia team-mate and defending Super Touring champion Brad Jones of Albury. The top five was completed by NSW's Mark Adderton, making his debut for the works Volvo team at Mallala as a replacement for NSW's Mark Williamson, who drove in the previous two rounds at Lakeside and at Oran Park. Adderton finished fifth outright in the championship in 1998 in a Honda Accord and second in the Independents Cup.
PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): "The new roll-bar, which we built ourselves, has transformed the car. This year we'd had problems with a lack of front-end grip in slow corners, but now the BMW is much smoother. It's an in-house engineering tweak that's made the difference, although I'm still surprised to be in front of the Volvo because our car is three years older."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): "I'm happy with the set-up and performance of the car so we didn't bother going out in the last session. I couldn't see the point of pounding around doing laps for the sake of it."
MATTHEW COLEMAN (Audi Sport Australia A4): "Our biggest problem here is getting the tyres to last the distance. There is too much wheelspin, and as they deteriorate they spin even more. We're in tyre trouble after 15 laps so the second race on Sunday over 25 laps is going to be a worry."
MARK ADDERTON (Volvo Racing S40): "Driving for a works team is a great opportunity for me. It's the break I've been looking for to give my career a kick along. The Volvo is a more technically advanced car to anything I've raced before - it's incredibly well balanced and the brakes are awesome. Jim (Richards) has been very helpful and the team are giving me all the support they can."
QUALIFYING TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:11.34-secs 2. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing Australia S40 1:11.58 3. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:11.84 4. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:12.23 5. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing Australia S40 1:12.87 6. John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 1:13.17 7. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.23 8. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.70 9. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318 1:13.71 10. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:13.76 11. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:13.83 12. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 155 1:14.93 13. Jim Cornish (NSW) Project Racing Nissan Primera 1:15.17 14. Aaron McGill (NSW) Dux Water Ford Mondeo 1:15.59 15. Milton Leslight (NSW) All Auto Parts Racing Toyota Carina 1:17.31
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