Simon Wills returned to Formula Holden in dominant style on the streets of Adelaide today by claiming pole position for the first race of round two of the 2001 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship. On a slippery track, Wills was unable to...
Simon Wills returned to Formula Holden in dominant style on the streets of Adelaide today by claiming pole position for the first race of round two of the 2001 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship. On a slippery track, Wills was unable to match his sub-record time from yesterday's practice session, but claimed pole nonetheless by a whopping 1.2s on his return to the category.
Wills team mate, and opening round winner, 18-year-old Rick Kelly filled second spot on his first visit to the circuit after Singapore's Christian Murchison was excluded from his second fastest qualifying position for being underweight. This was a blow for the Hocking Motorsport team, who had earned their best ever qualifying spot, and also for the race, as 'Murcho' looked to be Wills' closest challenger and claimed a race win here last year.
The session was marred by a horrifying crash by American Emerson Newton-John. The 26-year-old Californian lost control of his NRC Racing machine at the notorious 'Senna Chicane' and tore the entire right side from the car. Newton-John was cleared of serious injury, but a severe shaking and bruised neck could have been far worse considering the ferocity of the impact. His team mate, Stewart McColl will start third, gaining speed and confidence with every lap and should keep Kelly company during the 15 lap race.
A number of other competitors suffered from the slippery circuit with Roger Oakeshott spinning off early and Rohan Carrig and Paul Stephenson also speared off the track. Alan Gurr, who was a real surprise yesterday in second spot just behind Wills, was the most unlucky driver in the field. Debris from Newton-John's accident severing a brake line and ending his session before he could record an indicative time. Terry Clearihan also retired from the session with an oil leak, but not before claiming pole for the Silver Star Championship in his lone Ralt entry.