ASTC: Oran Park Qualifying Report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Qualifying Report, Saturday, August 14 Works Volvo driver Jim Richards today mastered variable weather conditions at Sydney's Oran Park circuit to claim pole position for...

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Qualifying Report, Saturday, August 14

Works Volvo driver Jim Richards today mastered variable weather conditions at Sydney's Oran Park circuit to claim pole position for tomorrow's seventh and penultimate round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship.

The six-times Bathurst 1000 winner won pole position with the fastest lap time of 1-min 11.48-secs around the 2.6km track in a front-drive Volvo S40. All drivers set their best lap times in the opening 10-minutes of the session before rain began to fall. Once the conditions worsened no one was able to threaten Richards' position.

Defending champion Brad Jones qualified second alongside Richards on the front-row of the grid with 1-min 11.71-secs in an Audi Sport Australia A4. Championship leader Paul Morris will start on the second-row, after qualifying third in 1-min 11.89-secs in an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320. Richards' team-mate Mark Adderton qualified fourth. Sydney's Dean Canto was the top Independents Cup driver in sixth position with 1-min 13.15-secs in a Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo.

Richards earned one championship point for his pole position. Morris leads the series with 189 points, followed by Richards on 174, and Jones on 136. Tomorrow's round comprises three races over 12, 16, and 23 laps, with the final event including a compulsory pit-stop for all cars to change two wheels.

DRIVER QUOTES:

JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): "When it rains during qualifying it's always a lottery. On this occasion I was able to get a quick lap in before the wet weather arrived. Mark (Adderton) helped me by moving over when I was on my quick lap. We've done a 'race run' on the (Yokohama) control tyres and they seem consistent."

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "My aim was to get on the front-row and I'm happy to do it. If we win the run to the first corner I've got as good a shot at winning as anyone out there."

PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): "I'm a little disappointed not making the front-row, but I've won races from the second-row before. I'm confident I've got the fastest starting car, so I've got to find a gap between the two cars in front of me off the line."

MARK ADDERTON (Volvo Racing S40): "I was lucky with the rain. I had to turn my wipers on about two corners from the end of my fast lap. Hopefully I can help Jim (Richards) get the best possible result for Volvo."

QUALIFYING RESULTS (starting positions for race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 1:11.48 2. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:11.71 3. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:11.89 4. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 1:12.61 5. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:12.69 6. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.15 7. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:13.20 8. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 1:13.26 9. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:13.56 10. Mark Zonneveld (A.C.T.) TC Motorsport Peugeot 405 1:13.81 11. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:13.86 12. Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Ford Mondeo 1:14.59 13. Jim Cornish (NSW) Visit Your Vet Nissan Primera 1:15.67 14. Nigel Stones (NSW) Stones Racing Hyundai Lantra 1:16.53 15. Milton Leslight (NSW) All Auto Parts Toyota Carina 1:20.56 16. Claude Elias (NSW) Redline Racing Hyundai Lantra 1:23.85 17. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express-SAE BMW 318 No time 18. Mike Fitzgerald (NSW) MF Motorsport Peugeot 405 No time

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