Young guns Nick McBride and Matt Campbell have locked out a surprise front row in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Hallmarc qualifying at Albert Park while series returnee Max Twigg is the man to beat in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge.
Sports car protégé Campbell held the front position for the majority of the session until McBride eclipsed Campbell’s best time in the closing laps; the time split between the two – 0.0028secs – was the second closest gap to pole position in the championship’s history.
“This is exciting because this season for me is all about showing my pace; I’ve been finishing between third and fifth most of last year and it’s nice to now get pole position, especially at the Grand Prix,” said McBride, who expects the more experienced racers to quickly challenge for the front position.
“Steven Richards and Craig Baird have achieved so much in their career and have so much experience so I’ll have to be on my game in the races to keep those guys behind.”
Behind the young front row duo in qualifying was speedster Nick Foster and Cam McConville on the second row with title favourites Richards and Baird gracing the third row of the grid; the latter’s best time deemed invalid, which would have placed the New Zealander third on the grid.
David Russell qualified in seventh from Shae Davies, Australian GT champion Richard Muscat, Duvashen Padayachee, Michael Almond, GT3 Cup Challenge champion Fraser Ross and Australian Formula 3 champion Simon Hodge in 13th.
Twigg quickly returned to the top of the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge, qualifying best in class and 14th outright.
The Victorian was the dominant Carrera Challenge driver throughout the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons, taking both the Albert Park round win and the class championship titles – a record he wants to add to this weekend.
“I’m thrilled to be in front of the Challenge class again; it’s a great feeling. Hopefully I can get off the line okay and do well in the races. It’s nice to know that you’ve still got it and that you can race at the front.”
Roger Lago qualified second in class from Clipsal 500 winner Tony Bates, James Bergmuller, class champion Stephen Grove, Marc Cini, Adrian Mastronardo, Ash Samadi, Scott Taylor and Shane Smollen in 24th, who punctured a radiator and could not complete a flying lap.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Hallmarc will hold its opening Albert Park race on Friday followed by one race on both Saturday and Sunday.
Friday March 13, 2015
3:30pm-3:55pm – Race 1
Saturday March 14, 2015
12:45pm-1:10pm – Race 2
Sunday March 15, 2015
12:55pm-1:20pm – Race 3
Date: Friday March 13, 2015
Time: 3:30pm (AEDT)
Date: Saturday March 14, 2015
Time: 12:45pm (AEDT)
Date: Sunday March 15, 2015
Time: 12:55pm (AEDT)