BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 4 WINTON, VICTORIA: Qualifying Report, Saturday, June 19 RICHARDS STARTS CELEBRATIONS WITH POLE Works Volvo driver Jim Richards today began celebrations for his 50th race start in the...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 4 WINTON, VICTORIA: Qualifying Report, Saturday, June 19
RICHARDS STARTS CELEBRATIONS WITH POLE
Works Volvo driver Jim Richards today began celebrations for his 50th race start in the BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship by claiming pole position at Winton Raceway in Victoria.
The six-times Bathurst 1000 winner won pole position for tomorrow’s fourth round of the championship by clocking the fastest qualifying lap of 1-min 26.40-secs around the 3km circuit.
Richards, who will make his 50th championship start in the second of tomorrow’s three races, was followed in qualifying by Albury’s Brad Jones in a Audi Sport Australia A4, and Queensland’s Paul Morris in a NEMO Racing BMW 320i. The top three were separated by just 0.30-secs.
Morris’ hopes for pole position were dashed by an engine failure in the final practice session before qualifying. His crew fitted the car with a replacement engine in less than two hours, allowing the Queenslander to participate in qualifying.
Jones qualified on the front-row for the first time this season, despite spinning off the circuit in the closing minutes. Others to spin off the track were Sydney Independents Cup drivers Peter Hills, in a Ford Mondeo, and Claude Elias, whose Hyundai Lantra was bogged in mud.
Richards goes into the round, which features a new three-race format, leading the championship with 79 points, followed by Morris 69, and Jones 48. While Richards will start race one from pole position, starting places for the other two heats are determined by the finishing order of race one and race two.
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Racing S40): “It’s hard to say what will happen with three races. If you have a problem, or you’re involved in a crash, you could find yourself at the back of the grid for the next race so everything is more uncertain. The Volvo is competitive and we have the speed to win. Having said that there are three or four others who can say the same thing.”
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): “We’ve been learning more and more about the front- wheel-drive car as the season has gone on, and now we seem to be running with good speed. The start will be crucial. There’s only a narrow racing line around this track and if you have to go off it get around someone then it’s very slippery.”
PAUL MORRIS (NEMO Racing BMW 320): “My team did a great job replacing the engine so quickly. The engine we put in the car was due to be rebuilt - there’s only about 150km of its lifetime left in it. It could go ‘bang’ at any time, but hopefully we can get through the three races.”
JOHN HENDERSON (Henderson Racing Holden Vectra): “We’ve qualified on the third row for every round this season, which is as good as we could have hoped for. Unfortunately we haven’t done so well in the races and that’s what we are working on for tomorrow.”
QUALIFYING RESULTS (starting positions for race 1): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1.Jim Richards (Vic) Volvo Racing S40 1:26.40 2.Brad Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:26.43 3.Paul Morris (Qld) NEMO Racing BMW 320 1:26.70 4.Mark Adderton (NSW) Volvo Racing S40 1:27.09 5.Matthew Coleman (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 1:27.12 6.John Henderson (NSW) Henderson Racing Holden Vectra 1:27.55 7.Dean Canto (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:27.96 8.Peter Hills (NSW) Signature Security Systems Ford Mondeo 1:28.37 9.Anthony Robson (NSW) Project Racing Honda Accord 1:28.47 10.Tony Newman (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 1:28.50 11.David Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 1:29.98 12.Allan Letcher (WA) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 1:31.20 13.Aaron McGill (NSW) Trinovin Ford Mondeo 1:31.56 14.Mike Downard (Vic) MPD Racing BMW 318 1:34.83 15.Malcolm Rea (Qld) Toyota Team Queensland Carina 1:35.78 16.Milton Leslight (NSW) All Auto Parts Toyota Carina 1:38.91 17.Claude Elias (NSW) Red Line Motorsport Hyundai Lantra 1:40.44