A heavyweight three-way punch-up in S5000 qualifying was won by Anton de Pasquale at The Bend.
Single-seater ace John Martin had time at the top, Supercars young gun Tom Randle also had pole position for a while, but it was de Pasquale who did the best job at the end to claim his maiden success in S5000.
His Supercars co-driver Will Brown was also pacy and finished the session with fourth spot on the grid.
“These guys really made me work for it. They’re never easy, but this was tight,” de Pasquale says after clocking 1 minute 41.2729 seconds, just ahead of Randle on 41.3312 and Martin on 41.4763.
“The track got better and better. We’re pushing quite hard.”
Randle was looking good for the first S5000 lap in the 1:40 bracket, and pole position, until he ran wide on the final corner and fired through the dirt.
“It was my mistake. Completely,” Randle admits.
“We were looking good for a high 40. I was on it. But then I understeered off at the last corner and I spent a lot of time on the dirt.”
For Martin, the pace of the two Team BRM drivers at the top was tough to match but he also admitted a driving error.
“Stupid mistake. I just locked up the brakes into Turn 14,” says Martin.
“But we made some decent changes overnight and the car was a lot better. Yeah, it’s close, so it should be a good race.”
Martin is doing double-duty like Brown, racing both TCR and S5000 cars, and the touring car champion was happy to had found some faults in his single-seater after trailing the leading pack in Friday testing.
“I’m happier. It’s all good. It was something tiny but it made a big difference,” says Brown.
“Now I have to hope that Anton screws up the start and we all get ahead, with me in front.”
|1||99||PAYCE||Anton de Pasquale (Vic)||1:41.2729|
|3||24||AGI Sport||John Martin (Qld)||1:41.4763||0:00.2034|
|4||38||Eggleston Motorsport||Will Brown||1:41.6065||0:00.3336|
|5||31||Gippsland Body Builders||James Golding||1:42.0578||0:00.7849|
|6||34||Ricky Capo (Vic)||1:42.3173||0:01.0444|
|7||23||Equity One / Holinger / Boylan||Timothy Macrow (Vic)||1:42.3786||0:01.1057|
|8||8||Astrontech||James Winslow (SA)||1:42.6861||0:01.4132|
|9||11||ACM Finance / WM Waste / Apex||Michael Gibson (Vic)||1:45.2096||0:03.9367|
|10||89||Willmington Racing||Braydan Willmington NSW||1:46.8405||0:05.5676|