ASTC: New sponsor for David Auger; News Briefs

FRIDAY, APRIL 14: Queensland driver DAVID AUGER has signed the American-based Leatherman Tool Group as principal sponsor for the 2000-2001 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship, which starts at Oran Park in Sydney on May 28. The ...

FRIDAY, APRIL 14: Queensland driver DAVID AUGER has signed the American-based Leatherman Tool Group as principal sponsor for the 2000-2001 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship, which starts at Oran Park in Sydney on May 28.

The 39-year-old Brisbane businessman, who has raced in the championship since 1997, will contest this year's series in a front-drive Alfa Romeo 155 with an updated engine from Germany. The car's livery will change from red to yellow and black and the team will be known as Leatherman Racing.

Auger tested his Alfa Romeo at Queensland's Lakeside circuit on April 1, and is confident he can challenge for the Independents Cup this year. He was fifth in the Independents Cup in 1999.

"The new sponsorship and engine will give us a boost, both in backing and performance, so we're expecting to improve," said Auger. "Our car usually goes quite well at Oran Park so I'm hoping get the championship off to a good start."

SUPER TOURING BRIEFS

Newcastle's 23-yer-old LUKE SEARLE will drive the SAE College-Roadchill BMW 318i throughout the 2000-2001 championship. In 1999 he shared driving duties in the rear-drive BMW with his 26-year-old elder brother TROY SEARLE. It is understood that while Troy Searle will not be driving, he will have a managerial role in the team. The team's technical staff will include Dave Homer, who previously worked in the championship with Queenslander Cameron McLean.

Sydney driver JAMIE MILLER will make his championship debut at Oran Park in the Toyota Camry previously raced by Mark Adderton and Ron Searle. Miller drove the Camry in the 500km Super Touring endurance race at Bathurst in 1999 and finished ninth. The car will be prepared by Mick Quinn of Phoenix Motorsports. Miller said he had tested the Camry three times and that the engine was being rebuilt.

Another Sydney driver, PAUL LEABEATER, will take over driving the Hyundai Lantra previously raced in the 1999 championship by CLAUDE ELIAS. Leabeater has purchased the car and Elias will assist with team management and car preparation. The pair shared the Hyundai in the 500km Super Touring endurance race at Bathurst in 1999.

The annual Super Touring charity activities for Camp Quality will be held at Oran Park on April 25. Drivers taking part will include 1999 Independents Cup champion PETER HILLS in a Ford Mondeo, and Sydney's JIM CORNISH in a Honda Accord. The Camp Quality charity is for children with cancer and they will be taken for rides around the track. The activities will also displays by the fire brigade and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Sydney-based TONY NEWMAN is brimming with confidence for the 2000-2001 championship after encouraging performances in the South Island Endurance Series in New Zealand. Newman was second in the opening round at Teretonga on March 19, and claimed pole position as fastest qualifier for the second round at Timaru on April 2 before being forced to retire from the race. The final round is at Ruapuna in Christchurch this weekend. Newman said the series had provided him with extensive preparation for the championship.

Mike Porter - mikep@qldnet.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Cameron McLean , David Auger