A perfectly crafted qualifying session has handed reigning Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia champion David Wall the TAG Heuer Pole Position for Saturday’s opening race at Sydney Motorsport Park, while Roger Lago finally secured his maiden Pro-Am pole position following nine second-place qualifying results.
While Darwin round winner Dylan O’Keeffe spent much of the closing stages of qualifying at the top of the timesheets, Wall topped the session by a mere 0.0572secs in the final moments to grab his fifth career pole position. The time of 1:29.0114 also eclipsed the previous qualifying lap record set by Warren Luff in 2014.
“I’m very happy. I haven’t fist-pumped over the line for many years. I really enjoyed that qualifying session; the car was hooked, we made the right decisions and it will be one of those sessions that I remember for years to come,” said Wall. “It was nice and close, which goes to show the quality of the field. And I’m pumped for Wall Racing, which will start first and third on the grid.”
O’Keeffe qualified second from James Moffat in third. Dale Wood qualified fourth from Cameron Hill, who was consistently fast in all three Friday sessions, and series leader Jaxon Evans in sixth.
Roger Lago impressed with his maiden pole position in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class. The Queenslander held the noteworthy record of nine second placed class results from 14 qualifying sessions, four of which came from the first four events of the 2018 season.
“I knew that I’d been runner-up four times in a row this year and that I had missed out a few times when I previously raced in Carrera Cup,” said Lago.
“I had to dig deep there because the car was nowhere in practice and we made a slight change for qualifying and I also got a tow from Grove at the end there; he was just far enough away that he didn’t slow me down, so I was a bit lucky there.”
Adrian Flack was the second fastest Pro-Am driver in qualifying from Anthony Gilbertson and returning driver Shane Smollen, who hasn’t raced since the Joint Round at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit last season, in fourth.
The two qualifying sessions were made more important by the fact that they also determine the starting positions for Saturday’s two Carrera Cup Asia & Australia Joint Races.
Determined by a coin toss at Thursday’s Welcome Function, Carrera Cup Australia will line up on the non-pole position side of the grid with Wall starting from the second place grid position, while the Australia series’ Pro-Am contenders will start their Joint Race from the pole position side of the grid.
“It’s always good to beat your chest against some of the Carrera Cup Asia drivers,” said Wall. “Chris Van Der Drift got one up on me last year in Sepang. I’ll go into tomorrow focusing on race one and race two and then we’ll shift our concentration to the Joint Race.”
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia will hold two individual races on Saturday – both awarding a maximum of 90 points – before the Joint Pro-Am Race and Joint Pro Race to cap off round five in Sydney.
Saturday August 04
11:45am Race 1 (16 laps)
2:45pm Race 2 (16 laps)
5:15pm Joint Pro Race (16 laps)
5:55pm Joint Pro-Am Race (16 laps)
1. #1 David Wall (Pro) 1:29.0114R
2. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) 1:29.0686r (-0:00.0572)
3. #18 James Moffat (Pro) 1:29.1543r (-0:00.1429)
4. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) 1:29.3644 (-0:00.3530)
5. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) 1:29.4029 (-0:00.3915)
6. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) 1:29.4690 (-0:00.4576)
7. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) 1:29.5679 (-0:00.5565)
8. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) 1:29.6665 (-0:00.6551)
9. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) 1:29.7414 (-0:00.7300)
10. #14 Peter Major (Pro) 1:30.1282 (-0:01.1168)
11. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) 1:30.3263 (-0:01.3149)
12. #888 Glen Wood (Pro) 1:30.3335 (-0:01.3221)
13. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:30.3336 (-0:01.3222)
14. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:30.4172 (-0:01.4058)
15. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) 1:30.7111 (-0:01.6997)
16. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:30.9475 (-0:01.9361)
17. #5 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:30.9837 (-0:01.9723)
18. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:30.9985 (-0:01.9871)
19. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:31.1966 (-0:02.1852)
20. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:31.8887 (-0:02.8773)
21. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:32.5123 (-0:03.5009)
22. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:34.0033 (-0:04.9919)
23. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:34.8554 (-0:05.8440)