Jim Richards on pole in Darwin; young guns close behind The experience of seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards has overcome the speed of the young guns of the Carrera Cup in qualifying for round four of the series at Hidden Valley Raceway...
Jim Richards on pole in Darwin; young guns close behind
The experience of seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards has overcome the speed of the young guns of the Carrera Cup in qualifying for round four of the series at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin today.
In fine and sunny conditions, the OAMPS/Greenfield Mowers driver lapped a full three-tenths of a second clear of Mossimo-backed driver Tim Leahey, lapping the 2.9-kilometre venue in 1m10.4116s. The pole position is Richards' third of the season.
While Richards was doing all of his work on the track, it was Leahey who was in the headlines overnight. The New South Welshman has lost 54 championship points as a result of being disqualified from the final race at the last round at Winton, where Leahey made contact with Victorian Matt Coleman.
Joint championship leader heading into this round, Marcus Marshall, was third fastest in his VIP Pet Foods Porsche, with Peter Fitzgerald (third in the championship) qualifying fourth for today's first race, which roars into life at 3.15pm.
Kevin Bell was the best New Zealander in fifth, with team-mate Paul Pedersen fading to 11th after posting strong times in practice yesterday.
After missing yesterday's two practice sessions and only getting a brief run in yesterday's media ride session, Andrew Miedecke was sixth fastest, though the Port Macquarie driver didn't have a friend in ninth-placed Matt Coleman, after the two made contact early in the session which caused damage to the front left of Coleman's #62 machine.
Victorian Rodney Jane again was strong in qualifying, taking his Bob Jane T-Marts machine to seventh-quickest time, clear of Peter Hill (who made an error and blew his clutch after just eight laps in the session), Coleman and South Australian Andrew Taplin.
Taplin, who is driving the car used by Jim Richards last season, qualified a season-high 10th in the #18 Taplin Real Estate Porsche.
Another to suffer clutch dramas was Tekno Autosport driver Jonathon Webb. Last year's Porsche Cup Rookie of the Year has been off the pace all weekend and will line-up 20th in the 22 car field for the first race of the fourth round of the Carrera Cup.
Today's first race will begin at 3.15pm with two races to be run tomorrow to complete the round, the first held in the Northern Territory.
The Carrera Cup is a nine-round championship supporting the V8 Supercar Championship Series, using identical Porsche GT3 Cup cars that have been specially manufactured for Carrera Cup competition by the Porsche factory in Weissach, Germany.