James Moffat has secured his second straight TAG Heuer Pole Position in what was the most difficult weather conditions the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia championship has seen this season, while Adrian Flack was the best of the TAG Heuer Pro-Am drivers at Mount Panorama.
The series started Thursday with an uninterrupted 50-minute practice session, topped by Jaxon Evans, David Wall and Jordan Love, giving the drivers a taste of the wet conditions at the iconic 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit.
The rain worsened for the afternoon qualifying session, with James Moffat proving to be the master in the rain, beating the next best driver Dale Wood by 0.9348secs by the end of the session. Love was the third best of the 30-minute qualifying from Michael Almond, with David Wall and Glen Wood to fill the third row of the grid for Friday’s opening race.
“It’s always nice to start on the front row of the grid, but more importantly, that’s four pole positions in a row for Wall Racing. It’s a fantastic effort from all the guys in the team,” said Moffat.
“It was really hard conditions as it was very wet out there and there’s a lot of concrete to hit around Mount Panorama so you have to weigh up the risk versus the reward. Tomorrow could bring anything. We’ll have to wait and see what the weather is going to do, but certainly if it’s a dry race, going into it without any dry laps this weekend will be challenging.”
Flack secured the TAG Heuer Pro-Am pole position in a late charge after the session resumed; the only red flag stoppage of the day occurred late in the qualifying session to recover Roger Lago’s car from the turn one run off area.
Stephen Grove was the second best of the Pro-Am drivers from Lago, The Bend class winner Anthony Gilbertson and Tim Miles.
“I haven’t driven this car in these conditions so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Flack. “You’d come up to a corner and turn in and not know what the car was going to do. After a couple of laps we started to settle into it. It was very scary, but quite fun.”
“Getting the pole position was unexpected; I was trailing the top guys for most of the session and managed to bring it home in the final laps. One of the biggest things is, if it’s wet tomorrow, I’ve never started one of these cars in the rain, so the start will be interesting.”
Next up for Carrera Cup at Mount Panorama will be the 16-lap opening race on Friday, which will be the penultimate race of the 2018 Endurance Cup, which Dale Wood (Pro) and Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) currently lead. Saturday and Sunday will then each feature one nine-lap race.
Race Schedule (local time)
Friday October 5
2:05pm Race 1 (16 laps)
Saturday October 6
1:55pm Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday October 7
9:30am Race 3 (9 laps)
Results: Qualifying times
1. #18 James Moffat (Pro) 2:28.9636*
2. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) 2:29.8984 (-0:00.9348)
3. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) 2:30.4760 (-0:01.5124)
4. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) 2:31.1043 (-0:02.1407)
5. #1 David Wall (Pro) 2:31.2547 (-0:02.2911)
6. #888 Glen Wood (Pro) 2:31.8092 (-0:02.8456)
7. #14 Peter Major (Pro) 2:32.1336 (-0:03.1700)
8. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) 2:32.2334 (-0:03.2698)
9. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) 2:32.2773 (-0:03.3137)
10. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) 2:32.5175 (-0:03.5539)
11. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) 2:32.6042 (-0:03.6406)
12. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:35.1303 (-0:06.1667)
13. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:35.4226 (-0:06.4590)
14. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) 2:35.7663 (-0:06.8027)
15. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:36.3550 (-0:07.3914)
16. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:36.5101 (-0:07.5465)
17. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:36.7917 (-0:07.8281)
18. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:37.0229 (-0:08.0593)
19. #50 Dave Stevens (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:37.9826 (-0:09.0190)
20. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:39.7993 (-0:10.8357)
21. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:40.2642 (-0:11.3006)
22. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) 2:40.7495 (-0:11.7859)
23. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:42.5729 (-0:13.6093)
24. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 2:42.6347 (-0:13.6711)