BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 WINTON, VICTORIA: Race Report, Sunday, August 9 McCONVILLE DOMINATES AT WINTON Three drivers in contention for Super Touring championship title Works Audi driver Cameron McConville...
BOC GASES AUSTRALIAN SUPER TOURING CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 7 WINTON, VICTORIA: Race Report, Sunday, August 9
McCONVILLE DOMINATES AT WINTON
Three drivers in contention for Super Touring championship title
Works Audi driver Cameron McConville and Volvo veteran Jim Richards rocketed back into calculations for this year's BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship title after series leader Brad Jones was struck down by a series of problems at Winton today.
Jones, who went to Winton with a decisive lead of 20 points, will go into the eighth and final round at Oran Park on August 30 with a slender advantage of four points over McConville and seven points ahead of Richards. McConville won both races in the seventh round of the championship on the tight 3km Winton circuit in fine conditions, while Richards recorded second and third placings. Jones was forced out of the first race because of a broken gearbox and he was fourth in heat two after struggling with a lack of grip.
The results at Winton left Jones leading the championship with 162 points, followed by McConville on 158, and Richards on 155. Jones, who won the championship for the first time in 1996, scored nine points at Winton, while McConville boosted his tally by 31, and Richards earned 22.
McConville won the opening race over 14 laps in 20-mins 20.23-secs, finishing 4.77-secs ahead of Richards, who was followed by Queensland's Cameron McLean in a Greenfield Mowers BMW 320, and NSW's Mark Adderton in a BOC Gases Honda Accord. Jones led the first three laps before retiring. NSW's Ron Searle, driving a Phoenix Motorsport Toyota Camry, was forced to withdraw after 11 laps with suspension failure. Newcastle's Troy Searle stopped on lap three because of a broken differential in his Roadchill Express BMW 318. Ron Searle and Troy Searle were unable to contest race two.
The second race over 27 laps included a compulsory pitstop for all cars. McConville led from start to finish and won in 39-mins 36.86-secs. The 24-year-old Victorian finished 4.75-secs clear of McLean, who was followed by Richards, Jones, and Adderton. Richards set a race lap record with a time of 1-min 25.31-secs. Audi leads the Manufacturers Championship with 204 points, with Volvo second on 174. McLean clinched the Independents Cup at Winton. He now has an unbeatable score of 194, with Adderton second on 136, and NSW's Peter Hills third on 112. Hills had fifth and sixth placings at Winton. At the post-race press conference McLean announced he had plans in motion to operate a two-car team in 1999. McLean has had a one-car team since he entered the championship in 1995. The 30-year-old Brisbane driver and his father and team manager John McLean confirmed they had held preliminary discussions with a manufacturer overseas about securing two cars for next year's Australian championship. DRIVER QUOTES:
CAMERON McCONVILLE (Audi Sport Australia A4): "A couple of races ago I thought I was out of it as far as the championship was concerned. Since then we've come back strongly at Mallala (in South Australia on July 19) and now at Winton. The car was perfect today and I couldn't have hoped for better results. It's wide open going to Oran Park. I like racing there (Oran Park) - that's where I won the (Australian) GT Production title."
BRAD JONES (Audi Sport Australia A4): "There was a chance I may have wrapped it (the championship) up today, but it wasn't to be. The first race was going well and I felt comfortable, and then the gearbox broke when I went to select fifth gear coming into the sweeper. These gearboxes are usually bullet-proof. It's a long time since this happened to one of our cars. It wasn't a good day, but I'm still leading the championship."
JIM RICHARDS (Volvo Dealer Team S40): "We didn't win, but we closed the gap on the Audis and we're right in there with a chance for the championship again. This track (Winton) is tough for all the front-wheel-drive cars, and the Volvo went about as well as it could. The lap record came after the pitstop to change tyres. It's hard to say who's going to have the advantage at Oran Park between the Volvo and the Audis - we'll do our best and see what happens."
CAMERON McLEAN (Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320): "It's good to win the Independents Cup again - that was one of our two aims this year. The other was to win a race in the championship, and we've got to do it at Oran Park because it's the last chance. We're hoping to run two cars in next year's championship. I think it would be better to have a team-mate to work with on car set-ups. Our sponsors Greenfield Mowers are keen, and we've been talking to people overseas - we can get two '97-spec cars."
RESULTS - RACE 1 (14 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 20:20.23 2. J. Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 20:25.00 3. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320 20:30.40 4. M. Adderton (NSW) BOC Gases Honda Accord 20:57.42 5. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 21:11.64 6. A. Robson (NSW) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 21:13.29 7. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 21:33.37 8. D. Auger (Qld) Gun Racing Alfa Romeo 21:36.28 9. B. Holden (NSW) Faber-Castell Racing BMW 318 Lap down 10. M. Zonneveld (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down FASTEST LAP: McLean 1-min 25.45-secs
RESULTS - RACE 2 (27 Laps): POS DRIVER CAR TIME 1. C. McConville (Vic) Audi Sport Australia A4 39:36.86 2. C. McLean (Qld) Greenfield Mowers Racing BMW 320 39:41.61 3. J. Richards (Vic) Volvo Dealer Team S40 39:48.00 4. B. Jones (NSW) Audi Sport Australia A4 39:48.83 5. M. Adderton (NSW) BOC Gases Honda Accord 41:05.45 6. P. Hills (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo Lap down 7. A. Robson (NSW) Grid Motorsport BMW 318 Lap down 8. M. Zonneveld (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2 laps down 9. B. Tweedie (NSW) IBC Vauxhall Cavalier 2 laps down 10. B. Holden (NSW) Faber-Castell Racing BMW 318 3 laps down FASTEST LAP: Richards 1-min 25.31-secs
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Jones 162, McConville 158, Richards 155, McLean 120, Adderton 74, Hills 59, Tweedie 40, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews 31, T. Searle 26, R. Searle 24, Auger 23, Kaplan 19, Pickett -Shaw-McGill-Kratzmann-Zonneveld 19, Robson 13, Henderson 8, Bewley 5, Newman 2
MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Audi 204, Volvo 174
INDEPENDENTS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): McLean 194, Adderton 136, Hills 112, Tweedie 83, Holden-Sheumack-Matthews 71, Auger 51, Pickett-Shaw-McGill-Kratzmann-Zonneveld 47, R. Searle 46, T. Searle 46, Kaplan 42, Robson 35, Henderson 15, Bewley 14, Newman 11, Rolfo 3
TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 7): Audi Sport Australia 177, Knight Racing 118