David Russell and Stephen Grove have secured the TAG Heuer Pole Position for the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season finale in Gold Coast in a session that drastically favoured championship leader, Nick Foster.
Russell claimed the top time late in the session, 0.4secs ahead of second placed Foster – a result crucial to the Queensland driver’s title hopes after his nearest points rival Steven Richards qualified a lowly 10th.
“It was our goal to qualify on the front row. I felt like I probably had enough pace to get pole position, and if it wasn’t for the mechanical issue late in the session we might have given it a good crack,” said Foster, who spent the closing laps of the qualifying session parked in the run off area at the turn four hairpin.
“Regardless, we did enough on our first set of tyres to be on the front row so, at the end of the day, it’s good enough. Racing is a different story; Dave Russell and Matt Campbell will be fast; everyone is very close at the moment so we’ll give it our best in race one tomorrow.”
Matt Campbell continued his strong 2015 qualifying form with the third best time, ahead of a surprise second row starter Michael Almond in fourth; his best qualifying result since he started in the one-make championship.
Richard Muscat will start fifth from Craig Baird, Nick McBride, Shae Davies, Fraser Ross and title contender Richards in 10th, who struggled to execute a clear lap in the session’s heavy traffic.
Stephen Grove claimed his maiden pole position for the season in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge class, and the Victorian was over the moon with the result given he is within striking distance in the standings of class leader Shane Smollen, who qualified second in class from Tony Bates, James Bergmuller, Marc Cini, Adrian Mastronardo, Scott Taylor and Ash Samadi.
“It’s really good to get a pole position. It’s been really hard this year with Shane Smollen and Tony Bates and the rest of the Challenge drivers being so competitive. You’ve really got to work hard to get a pole position so when you get one, you really cherish it,” said Grove.
“I’ve come to the Gold Coast with a simple philosophy: I’ve just got to be up the front. All I can do for the title is win, or stay ahead of Shane.”
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its first race for the weekend on Saturday, with the final two races of the season to be held on Sunday.
Saturday October 24, 2015
1:15pm – Race 1 (16 laps)
Sunday October 25, 2015
8:45am – Race 2 (16 laps)
11:10am – Race 3 (21 laps)
Fox Sports 5 (Channel 506)
Race 1 – 1:15pm, Saturday October 24
Race 2 – 8:45am, Sunday October 25
Race 3 – 11:10am, Sunday October 25
Race 1 – 1:15pm, Saturday October 24
Race 3 – 11:15am, Sunday October 25
1. #10 David Russell (Finance Ezi) 1:12.6448*
2. #777 Nick Foster (Bob Jane T-Marts) 1:12.6878 (-0:00.0430)
3. #7 Matt Campbell (Phase 8) 1:12.7463 (-0:00.1015)
4. #26 Michael Almond (Copyworld) 1:13.1462 (-0:00.5014)
5. #22 Richard Muscat (Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis Steel) 1:13.1600 (-0:00.5152)
6. #8 Craig Baird (Windsor Smith) 1:13.1692 (-0:00.5244)
7. #77 Nick McBride (Bob Jane T-Marts) 1:13.2542 (-0:00.6094)
8. #88 Shae Davies (Davbridge Constructions) 1:13.3725 (-0:00.7277)
9. #65 Fraser Ross (Make-A-Wish Foundation) 1:13.4371 (-0:00.7923)
10. #1 Steven Richards (Laser Plumbing & Electrical) 1:13.6094 (-0:00.9646)
11. #45 Duvashen Padayachee (Darrell Lea STIX) 1:13.7271 (-0:01.0823)
12. #25 John Martin (Copyworld) 1:13.8683 (-0:01.2235)
13. #4 Stephen Grove (Grove Group) 1:14.2633 (-0:01.6185)
14. #56 Shane Smollen (McGrath Estate Agents) 1:14.3774 (-0:01.7326)
15. #24 Tony Bates (AFS/Fleetguard) 1:14.3880 (-0:01.7432)
16. #13 James Bergmuller (MotorOne Car Care) 1:14.7986 (-0:02.1538)
17. #9 Marc Cini (Hallmarc) 1:15.3309 (-0:02.6861)
18. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (Veritas) 1:15.8002 (-0:03.1554)
19. #222 Scott Taylor (Scott Taylor Motorsport) 1:16.1768 (-0:03.5320)
20. #6 Ash Samadi (Apartment Hotel) 1:16.4419 (-0:03.7971)