Jonny Reid has made the most of his one-off appearance in the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia round at Albert Park this weekend by taking pole position in today’s qualifying session, while Max Twigg was the best of the Elite Class drivers.
After finishing runner-up in the 2011 championship, Reid entered this season without a full-time Carrera Cup drive.
After missing the opening round at the Clipsal 500, the New Zealander was handed a life line for the Albert Park round when offered the opportunity to race the Hunter Motor Sport Porsche, campaigned by Nathan Tinkler at the Adelaide event.
Reid accepted and went on to secure pole position, for which he was ecstatic with his performance against the ‘toughest’ Carrera Cup field to date, ahead of Craig Baird, Steven Richards, Alex Davison, Daniel Gaunt and rookie James Davison.
“I’m over the moon to take the pole position with Hunter Motor Sport. I certainly love this circuit; it’s got that fast flowing European nature to it where you can get on the loud pedal and really attack it,” said Reid.
“I thought last year’s field at Albert Park was the toughest, but this year you’ve got Alex Davison, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and other big names like Mark Skaife mixed in with the other regulars; it’s probably the toughest Porsche field I’ve ever raced against. It’s mind-blowing to be on pole against these drivers including Frentzen; that’s something that doesn’t happen every day.”
Qualifying in seventh place, Mark Skaife made his second appearance in the category after debuting in the Porsche championship at last year’s Albert Park event, and will start on the fourth row alongside Frentzen, with Nick Foster and 16-year-old Andre Heimgartner behind.
Max Twigg is the best placed Elite Class driver for tomorrow’s opening race in 11th, starting in front of James Koundouris, Tom Tweedie and Peter Hill.
“Today’s qualifying was okay, but I don’t think I put a really quick lap together. I’m happy with the position I’m in; there’s no one in front of me that shouldn’t be in front of me and I think we’ll be able to run with the Professional Class drivers. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night, I think it will be a good race,” said Twigg.
Meanwhile, former F1 racer Frentzen was pleased with his performance in the opening day of the Albert Park event after posting the fastest time in the opening practice session.
“I got a really good first impression. I’m happy with my day today,” said Frentzen.
“In free practice in the morning, that was quite lucky because I had slick tyres on. That worked well for me and I knew these conditions from my past, so for me it was more crucial to learn set up positions. I really just tried to learn as much as possible in a short amount of time.
“My first experience in a Porsche after 20 years was nice. It’s a really fast sports car. For my age it’s perfect; I shouldn’t go any faster.”
The opening race of the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia championship for Albert Park will be held on Friday March 16 at 6:20pm.
Friday March 16
6:20pm – 6:45pm Race 1 (10 laps)
Saturday March 17
12:30pm – 12:50pm Race 2 (8 laps)
Sunday March 18
2:10pm – 2:30pm Race 3 (8 laps)
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia – Race 1
Date: Friday March 16
Channel: One HD
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia – Race 2
Date: Saturday March 17
Channel: One HD/Ten
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia – Race 3
Date: Sunday March 18
Channel: One HD/Ten