BEN BARKER NABS FIRST MEGUIAR'S F3 POLE AWARD BY 0.07s! He left it to the very last minute - literally - but that wasn't enough to stop Ben Barker from taking his career first Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship Meguiar's Pole Position ...
BEN BARKER NABS FIRST MEGUIAR'S F3 POLE AWARD BY 0.07s!
He left it to the very last minute - literally - but that wasn't enough to stop Ben Barker from taking his career first Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship Meguiar's Pole Position today at Symmons Plains Raceway.
After progressing to the 'Fast Four' ten-minute shootout, Barker fought out an epic qualifying battle with teammate Andrew Waite and Tom Tweedie, the trio at time covered by less than one-tenth of a second.
Tweedie held top spot early in the session, before a rapid Andrew Waite lap bumped him to second.
Both looked secure in their positions before Barker, in a series of stunning laps, first deposed Tweedie and then Waite to nab the top spot for today's first race - to be held over 18 laps this afternoon.
Kristian Lindbom was fourth, improving rapidly during the session to shadow the leading trio and end up fourth, just 0.2s from pole position in his Astuti Dallara.
Today's efforts gave Barker his first F3 pole and front-row start as he looks to use this round to build his championship challenge thanks to the absence of Mitch Evans and Ben Crighton.
"It's great to get pole position," Barker said.
"It was super close all session and at one time I had the guys come on the radio and tell me I was less than a tenth off, but in third place! The bonus point is handy and it's good to be starting at the front. It's going to be very competitive but this is a good start to the weekend."
Waite was similarly pleased with second, given today was just his third behind the wheel of an F3 car.
"It's awesome - we were so close! I'm really enjoying it and it was a great session," the Kiwi grinned.
"There was next to no gain on new tyres so a lot of it came down to driving as hard as possible and getting a clean lap. I'm pleased with second because I've been a bit unlucky in qualifying (in the Toyota Racing series) before so this is great!"
Third place for Tom Tweedie represented a career-best qualifying effort from the 20-year-old Sydney driver, who will look to utilise his slippery F304 Dallara to draft the 'Team Blue' duo ahead of him in the races this weekend.
Just missing the Meguiar's fast four was John Magro, who will start his R-Tek Dallara fifth. Tassie youngster Josh Burdon will go from sixth in his first F3 start whilst Jesse Wakeman and Zhang Shan Qi will complete the eight.
Race one will be held at 13:20pm Local time this afternoon.
-source: aus f3