BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, August 15 A dominating performance by works Volvo driver Jim Richards at Oran Park today lifted him to within 12 points of series leader Paul Morris...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 ORAN PARK, NSW: Race Report, Sunday, August 15
A dominating performance by works Volvo driver Jim Richards at Oran Park today lifted him to within 12 points of series leader Paul Morris in the battle for this year’s BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title.
Richards top-scored with 43 points in the seventh and penultimate championship round with two wins and a second place in his front-drive Volvo S40, boosting his series tally to 216. Morris earned 39 points on the 2.6km Oran Park circuit with a win and two second placings in an ex-works NEMO Racing BMW 320. The 31-year-old dual Super Touring champion goes into the eighth and final round at Calder Park in Melbourne on August 29 leading with 228 points.
Defending champion Brad Jones is now out of contention for this year’s title. He scored 22 points at Oran Park in an Audi Sport Australia A4, improving his championship tally to 158. However, Jones cannot deprive either Morris or Richards of the title, regardless of results at Calder Park.
Morris won the opening race at Oran Park over 12 laps in 14-mins 28.93-secs after leading from start to finish. Richards, who was second throughout, finished 0.26-secs behind the BMW, followed by Jones’ Victorian team-mate Matthew Coleman, and NSW’s Mark Adderton in a Volvo S40. Jones and Independents Cup driver Jim Cornish, in a Visit Your Vet Nissan Primera, received ‘drive-through’ penalties for moving forward off the start line earlier than allowed. Canberra’s Mark Zonneveld was disqualified after Race Director Peter Wollerman found him guilty of ‘failing to exercise proper care’ when his TC Motorsport Peugeot 405 collided with the Trinovin Ford Mondeo of Aaron McGill.
In the second race over 16 laps Morris made a poor start from pole position, and Richards charged to a comfortable lead. Morris, who was fourth after the opening lap, improved to second, but never threatened Richards, who won in 19-mins 20.30-secs. He finished 10.56-secs clear of Morris, with Adderton third, Jones fourth, and Coleman fifth.
The third race over 23-laps included a compulsory pit-stop for all cars to change two wheels. Morris led the opening 10 laps before he and Richards made their pit-stops. Richards was first out of the pits, but Morris reclaimed first position soon after they resumed racing. The decisive point of the race was two laps later when Richards passed Morris and took the lead. The Volvo driver eventually won in 28-mins 14.78-secs, finishing 6.10-secs ahead of Morris, who was followed by Jones and Adderton.
Richards’ results left Volvo leading the Manufacturers Championship with 249 points, with Audi second on 225. Sydney’s Peter Hills was the top Independents Cup driver with a fifth and two sixth placings in his Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo. Hills leads the Independents Cup with 248 points, followed by team-mate Dean Canto on 140, and Anthony Robson in a Project Racing Honda Accord on 128.
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): “We’ve kept closing the gap on Paul (Morris) in the last couple of rounds and the championship is wide open. This weekend we had a fantastic car. After the pit-stop in the last race I had a bit of wheel-spin coming out of the pits and Paul got a run on me. Then we were able to get him back.”
PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “I drove the wheels off the BMW and we had nothing left. At the end of the day I can’t be too disappointed because we didn’t drop too many points on Jim (Richards) in the championship. I used the same (Yokohama) control tyres we used in the last round (at Queensland Raceway on August 1) because they worked best on my car in these conditions.”
MARK ADDERTON (Volvo Racing S40): “That was my best championship performance with 26 points. This is the first time that I consider I’ve done my job. The car was consistent and I was able to peel off a string of good lap times. If I can do the same at Calder Park I’ll be very pleased.”
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “After being penalised for my start in the first race I was basically playing catch-up for the rest of the day. I could feel the car rolling forward - I didn’t mean it to happen. Even though I can’t win the championship again I’ll be out to finish the season by winning some races when we get to Calder (Park).”
RESULTS - RACE 1 (12 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 14:28.93 2. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 14:29.19 3. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 14:41.06 4. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 14:46.59 5. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 14:53.57 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 14:53.99 7. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 14:55.99 8. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 14:59.91 9. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 15:01.36 10. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 15:06.22 FASTEST LAP: Morris 1-min 11.16-secs
RESULTS - RACE 2 (16 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 19:20.30 2. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 19:30.86 3. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 19:42.35 4. Brad Jones (NW) Audi Sport Australia A4 19:43.76 5. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 19:50.13 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 19:53.21 7. Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 19:57.19 8. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 19:57.68 9. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 20:11.02 10. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill-Express-SAE BMW 318 20:11.59 FASTEST LAP: Morris 1-min 11.26-secs
RESULTS - RACE 3 (23 laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 28:14.78 2. Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 28:20.79 3. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 28:24.63 4. Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 28:51.11 5. Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 29:04.32 6. Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 29:04.56 7. Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 29:16.02 8. Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 Lap down 9. David Auger (Qld) Grid Racing Alfa Romeo Lap down 10. Nigel Stones (NSW) Stones Racing Hyundai Lantra Lap down FASTEST LAP: Morris 1-min 11.24-secs
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Morris 228, Richards 216, Jones 158, Coleman 140, Hills 101, Adderton 75, Canto 51, Robson 41, Watts 40, Newman 31, Auger 25, Henderson 23, Williamson 17, McGill 15, Wall 8, L. Searle 8, Cornish 5, Townshend 3, Rea 3, Zonneveld 3, T. Searle 3, Elias 1, Leslight 1, Teulan 1, Stones 1
MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Volvo 249, Audi 225
TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Audi Sport Australia 352, Volvo Racing 338, Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 193, Project Racing 100, Paul Morris Motorsport 79, TC Motorsport 40
INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Hills 248, Canto 140, Robson 128, Newman 108, Auger 95, McGill 64, Henderson 55, Watts 49, Cornish 44, L. Searle 40, Leslight 34, T. Searle 28, Wall 22, Zonneveld 21, Rea 19, Stones 19, Elias 19, Teulan 12, Townshend 8, Letcher 7, Downard 6
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