NEWMAN TO RACE NEW PEUGEOT AT ORAN PARK THURSDAY, JULY 1: Sydney-based New Zealander Tony Newman will race a new ex-works Peugeot 406 from Great Britain in the fifth round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park on...
NEWMAN TO RACE NEW PEUGEOT AT ORAN PARK
THURSDAY, JULY 1: Sydney-based New Zealander Tony Newman will race a new ex-works Peugeot 406 from Great Britain in the fifth round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park on July 18.
The front-drive Peugeot was a works entry in the 1997 British Touring Car Championship, driven by Englishman Tim Harvey, and later that year he raced the car in the Bathurst 1000 with New Zealand’s Paul Radisich.
Newman said the Peugeot was scheduled to arrive in Australia this Saturday, and his T.C. Motorsport Team expected to take delivery of it about a week later after it had been cleared through customs.
“Once we get the car we should have enough time to give it a shakedown test before racing it at Oran Park,” said Newman. “The car has been completely rebuilt and has a new engine so it should be on the pace straight away.”
The 42-year-old Fastway Couriers executive has raced an identical Peugeot 406 since the start of the 1998 championship, and he believes he will be more competitive in the new car.
“When we got the first 406 we had our share of teething problems, but my team now have more experience working on the car,” he said. “We are now in a position to take a big step forward.”
Newman’s best results in this year’s championship were in round three at Mallala near Adelaide in May, when he qualified sixth for the two races and finished eighth and ninth.
SUPER TOURING BRIEFS
The fifth round of the championship at Oran Park will be contested over THREE RACES on the 1.9km South Circuit. The three-race format was introduced into the championship for the first time in round four of this year’s series at Winton on June 20. Previously all rounds had been two races since the championship began in 1994. The three races at Oran Park will be held over 16 laps, 21 laps, and 31 laps. The third race will feature a compulsory pit-stop for all cars to change two wheels between laps 13 and 17.
Canberra’s MARK ZONNEVELD returns to the championship at Oran Park in a 1995-specification Peugeot 405, previously raced by Tony Newman in 1997. The 27-year-old Zonneveld will race the remainder of the championship, and the car will be prepared by Newman’s T.C. Motorsport Team. Zonneveld drove in the final two rounds of the 1998 championship at Winton and Oran Park, and in the Bathurst 1000 in a Knight Racing Ford Mondeo.
Starion Team Peugeot manager Paul Grimm is still attempting to have English speedster PATRICK WATTS race his 1998-specification Peugeot 406 at Oran Park and for the remainder of the championship. Watts starred in the opening two rounds, with a win and a pole position as fastest qualifier in the series opener at Lakeside in Queensland in April, and second place in both races in round two at Oran Park in May. Grimm said he was attempting to secure the necessary sponsorship backing for Watts to return to the championship.
SUPER TRUCKS have been included among the championship support events programme for the first time at Oran Park. There will be two 10-lap races for the trucks which compete in the Continental Tyres Super Truck Nationals series. The events at Oran Park are not part of the championship, but have attracted frontrunners Rodney Crick (Volvo), Glenn Dobson (MAN), and Inky Tullock (Cat).
Dual Super Touring champion PAUL MORRIS will be married on Saturday to Michelle Kucko on the Gold Coast. Best man is Stuart Crompton, part of Morris’ NEMO Racing Team. Morris, champion in 1995 and 1997, is second in this year’s series one point behind leader Jim Richards. Morris has won a record 28 championship races since 1994, and claimed 18 pole positions, the most by any driver.
NOTE: The Seven Network television program ‘Start Your Engines’ continues this Saturday with coverage of race two of the second round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park