BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA: Practice Report, Friday, May 15 McLEAN FASTEST AT PHILLIP ISLAND Independents Cup leader Cameron McLean upstaged the works Audi and Volvo teams to emerge...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA: Practice Report, Friday, May 15
McLEAN FASTEST AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Independents Cup leader Cameron McLean upstaged the works Audi and Volvo teams to emerge fastest in today's practice for the third round of the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship motor racing series at Phillip Island on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Brisbane driver, who is fourth outright in the championship and first in the Independents Cup, clocked the quickest practice lap of 1-min 40.47-secs around the 4.5km circuit in a Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320. McLean set the time in the third and final session, which began in damp conditions, but was drying out in the closing stages. His time was 3.30-secs outside the race lap record set by Geoff Brabham in a works BMW 320 in 1997. The car McLean is driving was raced by Brabham's BMW Motorsport team-mate Paul Morris in 1997, and he won the championship title.
Albury's Brad Jones, who shares the championship lead with Audi Sport Australia team-mate Cameron McConville, was second quickest in practice with 1-min 41.42-secs in a works A4 quattro. Newcastle's Troy Searle was third in a Roadchill BMW 318, followed by McConville. Multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards finished 11th fastest in a works Volvo S40 with a time of 1-min 51.53-secs set in the second session on a wet track. Richards was quickest in the wet session, and slipped in the overall positions when his team elected not to drive in the final session when conditions had improved. New Zealand's Tony Newman did not take part in the final session because of gearbox problems with his ex-works Peugeot 406. Jones and McConville lead the championship with 54 points, followed by Richards 38, and McLean on 30.
CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "That's the first time I've topped the time sheets in Super Touring, but I don't know how much it means because Jim (Richards) didn't go out in the last session. I'm confident I can put it on the front-row in qualifying. If that happens I'll try and beat the Volvo off the line and do a runner."
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "McLean seems to be improving and he's carrying good speed around here in the wet and dry. I won't mind if it rains because it would suit our four-wheel-drive quattro system."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing Australia S40): "We did some good times in the dry on Thursday, so there was no point going out in the last session and risk a crash. I'm sure we could have done a quick lap, but it wouldn't mean anything."
TONY NEWMAN (Starion Enterprises Peugeot 406): "The gearbox went 'bang' when I was changed from sixth to fifth at the end of the (main) straight. This is the second day in a row we've had the problem so we decided to miss the last session and pull the gearbox to pieces. The time lost means we aren't making any progress with our understeer problems."
PRACTICE TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. Cameron McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 1:40.47 2. Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 1:41.42 3. Troy Searle (NSW) Roadchill BMW 318 1:44.25 4. Cameron McConville (Vic)Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro 1:45.50 5. Anthony Robson (NSW) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 1:46.15 6. Peter Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 1:46.54 7. Mark Adderton (NSW) Attitude Clothing Honda Accord 1:46.64 8. Justin Matthews (NSW) Faber-Castell Racing BMW 318 1:46.65 9. Bob Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier :48.15 10. David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 1:49.32 11. Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 1:51.53 12. Ron Searle (NSW) Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry 1:54.21