ASTC: Oran Park Practice Report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Practice Report, Friday, August 13 Series leader Paul Morris continued his dominating form at the Oran Park circuit when he emerged fastest in today’s practice...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Practice Report, Friday, August 13

Series leader Paul Morris continued his dominating form at the Oran Park circuit when he emerged fastest in today’s practice sessions in preparation for the seventh and penultimate round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship on Sunday.

Morris, who won all three races in the previous championship round at Oran Park on July 18, clocked the quickest practice time of 1-min 11.48-secs around the 2.6km circuit in an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320. The 31-year-old Gold Coast driver set his best time in the third of the three 30-minute sessions in fine and windy conditions. Defending champion Brad Jones was second fastest in an Audi Sport Australia A4, followed by six-times Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards in a works Volvo S40. The top three were separated by 0.39-secs.

New Zealand Independents Cup driver Tony Newman did not practice because of engine problems, but he will take part in qualifying tomorrow in his Peugeot 406. Queensland’s David Auger (Alfa Romeo) and NSW Jim Cornish (Nissan Primera) missed the final session because of minor mechanical problems. In the third session NSW’s Dean Canto drove a Toyota Camry after damaging the front spoiler of his Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo in session two. The Camry was previously raced by NSW’s Ron Searle in the 1998 championship. Canto will race the Mondeo on Sunday.

Morris leads the championship with 189 points, followed by Richards on 173, and Jones on 136. There will be three races on Sunday, and the final event includes a compulsory pit-stop for all cars to change two wheels.

DRIVER QUOTES:

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “I did my best (lap) time on second-hand tyres. I tried some ‘fresh’ rubber, but I wasn’t as quick. I may go with used tyres in qualifying - it depends on what will get me around the track with the fastest lap time. We are running a stiffer front suspension to look after the rear tyres.”

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “Position-wise I’m happy because we’re on the provisional front-row. Hopefully we can hold our position in qualifying because passing is difficult at this track and it’s important to qualify on the front-row and make a good start.”

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing Australia S40): “(Paul) Morris is likely to get a faster start so we have to be able to wear him down over the race distance. I’m happy with the car.”

TONY NEWMAN (TC Motorsport Peugeot 406): “We found some metal in the oil filter so we made a precautionary engine-change. We have fitted a new engine and will be out there for qualifying.”

PRACTICE TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:11.48 2. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:11.79 3. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing Australia S40 1:11.87 4. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:12.57 5. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing Australia S40 1:12.83 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.54 7. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:13.73 8. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 405 1:14.40 9. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318 1:14.40 10. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:14.50 11. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 1:14.63 12. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Ford Mondeo 1:15.18 13. Nigel Stones (NSW) Stones Racing Hyundai Lantra 1:17.17 14. Milton Leslight (NSW) All Auto Parts Toyota Carina 1:17.63 15. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Nissan Primera 1:19.10 16. Claude Elias (NSW) Redline Racing Hyundai Lantra 1:22.67 17. Mike Fitzgerald (NSW) MF Motorsport Peugeot 405 1:23.16

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Dean Canto , Paul Morris , Aaron McGill , David Auger , Peter Hill , Anthony Robson , Nigel Stones