Konica: Mallala race report

Andrew Jones wins 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Championship Team BOC driver Andrew Jones has won the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Championship in a tight fought battle with Luke Youlden in the final event of the year at...

Andrew Jones wins 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Championship

Team BOC driver Andrew Jones has won the 2004 Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series Championship in a tight fought battle with Luke Youlden in the final event of the year at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia today.

The Champion was decided in the third and final race of the day in front of a record 8,000 crowd who got to witness one of the most action-packed rounds of the series.

Jones and Youlden finished on the same amount of points for the Championship but Jones was awarded the title on a count back of how many rounds he has won in the series this year.

"The Championship could not have been scripted better," Jones said after the final race. "Having it come down to the final race for the year is absolutely fantastic for the series and a great result for us today.

"I am absolutely wrapt with winning the Championship this year, the team has done a fantastic job and without them and the support from my family I wouldn't be where I am standing today."

Youlden and Jones battled it out for the majority of the day with Jones getting the slight edge in the second race full reverse grid where he managed to climb his way to third position while Youlden finished in sixth.

The third and final race of the year provided all of the action with Youlden getting off to a flying start from the second row of the grid to overtake Jones and sit in second position for the first half of the race behind experienced V8 Supercar driver Greg Ritter.

Jones made his move on the Super Cheap Auto Racing Falcon on lap 21 of the 33 lap race, when he moved into second spot and remained with that slight advantage over Youlden for the remainder of the race despite the race encountering two Safety Car periods.

"In that third race when Andrew was sitting just behind me I got the feeling he was just biding time until he made his move," Youlden said.

"I think the two Safety Car periods in that race hurt us a little bit. Sometimes Safety Cars can work for you and sometimes they don't and in our case today they didn't.

"I would like to congratulate Andrew (Jones) for a fantastic effort today and all year and it was just a great effort to see the Championship come down to the last round of the year."

Hydraulink Racing's Mark Porter finished third overall for the Championship, 20 points ahead of Team Fujitsu's Jose Fernandez.

Team Fujitsu's Owen Kelly had a horror weekend sliding from third position in the Championship going into the final round to finish the day in fifth spot.

His bad luck started in the first race when his car spun at turn one on the second lap pushing him from fifth position down to 24th where he remained for the remainder of the race. The second race was more uneventful for the 27-year-old finishing in 20th position and 22nd overall for the weekend.

Despite Jones' Championship winning effort, Speed FX Racing's Greg Ritter was the standout performer of the weekend in his debut drive in the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series finishing with the round win and valuable miles in the lead up to the first of the two endurance races for 2004 at Sandown in two weeks time.

Stone Brothers Racing has picked up Ritter to drive with 2003 Champion Marcos Ambrose in the number 9 Pirtek Falcon for the two endurance events of the year at Sandown and Bathurst.

"This year has been the easiest year for me in terms of preparation," Ritter explained.

"Marcos is doing all of the miles and setting up the car so basically I just have to turn up and sit in the car. This weekend has been fantastic though and apart from a few dents and scratches in the reverse grid race today we came out of the weekend unscathed and with a fantastic result."

The Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series will hold a non-championship event with the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at October.

-avesco-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Andrew Jones , Luke Youlden , Owen Kelly , Greg Ritter , Bob Jane , Jose Fernandez , Mark Porter