ASTC: Phillip Island report

BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 3 PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA: Race Report, Sunday, May 17 RICHARDS RACES TO HISTORIC WIN FOR VOLVO McConville takes outright championship lead Jim Richards provided Swedish car ...



McConville takes outright championship lead

Jim Richards provided Swedish car manufacturer Volvo with its first race win in the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship with a historic victory at Philip Island on Sunday (May 17).

The five-times Bathurst 1000 champion won the second and final race in the third round of the 1998 series in a Tom Walkinshaw Racing-built Volvo S40 imported from Great Britain earlier this year. For Volvo, the win was its first since it entered the championship in 1995. Richards took the chequered flag in 30-mins 32.21-secs, finishing 0.41-secs clear of second-placed Brad Jones of Albury in an Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro. They were followed by Independents Cup leader Cameron McLean in a Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320 and Jones' Victorian team-mate Cameron McConville.

McConville led the opening 10 laps of race two, but his prospects were ruined when he was found to have exceeded the speed limit when making his compulsory pit-stop to change two wheels. Jones then led until lap 15 when he was passed by Richards, who was never headed from that point.

Earlier, McConville had confirmed his ranking as one of Australia's top emerging drivers when he won the opening race over nine laps, after leading from start to finish. The 24-year-old Victorian completed the race in 15-mins 01.95-secs, and won by 5.45-secs from Richards, McLean, and Mark Adderton in an Attitude Clothing Honda Accord. Jones finished 10th after being involved in an incident with McLean on the third lap when their cars collided. At the time they were dicing for third place, but after contact Jones was forced to make a pit-stop because of damage to his right rear tyre.

The results at Phillip Island left McConville, who went into round as joint championship leader with Jones, taking first position outright. He now has 77 points, with Jones and Richards equal second on 67, followed by McLean on 50 and Adderton on 36. Adderton finished fifth in the second race, with the only blemish on his team's performance a slow pit-stop. They were 17-secs slower than the Audi pit-stops.


JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team 850): "It's great for Volvo to finally win one of these championship races because they've made a major commitment to Super Touring for many years. When I took the lead from Brad (Jones) I tried to make a break, but the Audi stuck with me. It was close on the last lap, but the Volvo had just enough speed to take the win. Hopefully we can go on and win more races."

CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4): "The first race went really well - there was some drama behind me so it was good to be out in front and away from all of that. I was surprised to find out I was supposed to have been speeding in pit lane when I made my stop in the second race. It didn't feel like I was speeding. At the same time I've scored some more valuable championship points."

BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "The hit from McLean was disappointing. I was strolling down to the hairpin and got clouted in the back. It pushed the guard onto the tyre and when I saw the smoke I knew I'd have to go to the pits. The same things has happened to me here before. The second race was much better, but Jim (Richards) had more sped at the end when it mattered."

CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "Two thirds isn't such a bad day, although it could have been better. I didn't mean to hit Brad - it was just one of those things and it's probably going to cost us both in the championship. I tried to nip up the inside of the Audi, but I locked up the rear brakes, spun sideways, and that when the contact was made."

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 3): McConville 77, Richards 67, Jones 67, McLean 50, Adderton 36, Hills 22, Tweedie 19, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews 12, T. Searle 11, R. Searle 10, Auger 10, Henderson 8, Pickett 6, Kaplan 4, Robson-Bradshaw 2, Bewley 1

MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 3): Audi 87, Volvo 75

INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 3): McLean 81, Adderton 68, Hills 44, Tweedie 39, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews 29, Auger 23, T. Searle 23, R. Searle 20, Pickett 17, Henderson 15, Kaplan 10, Robson-Bradshaw 8, Bewley 4, Newman 3, Shaw 3

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 3): Audi Sport Australia 81, Knight Racing 42

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Series General
Drivers Cameron McConville , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Cameron McLean , Tom Walkinshaw , Phillip Island