ASTC: Oran Park Practice Report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5 ORAN PARK, NSW: Practice Report, Friday, July 16 MORRIS FASTEST AT ORAN PARK BMW driver Paul Morris emerged fastest ahead of Audi’s Brad Jones in today’s practice sessions for ...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5 ORAN PARK, NSW: Practice Report, Friday, July 16

MORRIS FASTEST AT ORAN PARK

BMW driver Paul Morris emerged fastest ahead of Audi’s Brad Jones in today’s practice sessions for Sunday’s fifth round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Oran Park in NSW.

Morris, champion in 1995 and again two years later, clocked the best lap of 43.26-secs around the 1.9km South Circuit in an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320. The 31-year-old from the Gold Coast set the time in the second of three 30-mins sessions, all held in cool weather on a dry track surface. Morris finished was 0.12-secs ahead of 1998 champion Jones in an Audi Sport Australia A4.

Championship leader Jim Richards was third quickest in a works Volvo S40 with 43.47-secs, after opting not to drive in the third practice session. Jones’ Victorian team-mate Matthew Coleman was fourth with 43.74-secs. Coleman, in his first year of Super Touring racing, was unable to complete the first session because of a broken driveshaft and a collapsed front upright. Sydney’s Peter Hills was the top Independents Cup driver, and sixth fastest with 44.75-secs in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo, ahead of Newcastle’s improving Luke Searle in a Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318.

Qualifying will be held tomorrow for starting positions for the first of Sunday’s three races. Richards leads the championship with 107 points, followed by Morris on 106, and Jones on 83.

DRIVER QUOTES:

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “I did my best time on a new set of Yokohama (control) tyres and we’ve got a good set-up for qualifying. We’ve also made the car more consistent on old tyres. We tested here a week ago and our preparation has been spot-on so far.”

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “It’s difficult to pass here at Oran Park so we’re searching for qualifying speed to try and get onto the front row tomorrow. We’re right in amongst it and we’re going much better than at the start of the season.”

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing Australia S40): “We’re happy with the way things are going so we didn’t go out in the last session - there was no point in pounding around doing laps when there was nothing to gain.”

LUKE SEARLE (Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318): “This is the first time I’ve raced a Super Tourer at Oran Park so I’m a little surprised to be second best among the Independents Cup drivers. Paul Morris and his team have given us some help with our engines and we’ve got more power.”

PRACTICE TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 43.26-secs 2. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 43.38 3. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing Australia S40 43.47 4. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 43.74 5. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing Australia S40 44.15 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 44.75 7. Luke Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318 44.87 8. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 45.09 9. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 45.17 10. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 45.41

Mike Porter mikep@qldnet.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Paul Morris , Luke Searle , David Auger , Peter Hill , Anthony Robson