FHOLDEN: Leahey gains pole at Winton Raceway

2000 Holden Australian Drivers Championship Winton Raceway, Victoria, Australia Round 6 Qualifying Report 15th July 2000 New South Wales' driver Tim Leahey redeemed himself in the best possible fashion by claiming pole position for tomorrow's...

2000 Holden Australian Drivers Championship
Winton Raceway, Victoria, Australia
Round 6 Qualifying Report
15th July 2000

New South Wales' driver Tim Leahey redeemed himself in the best possible fashion by claiming pole position for tomorrow's sixth round of the 2000 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship at a cool, but dry Winton Raceway today. Driving the Boost Pre Paid Mobile Reynard 92D, Leahey's time of 1:13.530s was a whopping 1.9s under Simon Wills' lap record set last year, and came after yet another overnight engine change. Leahey, who failed to finish the last round at Queensland Raceway due to an engine malady, had his brand-new engine blow-up in yesterday's final session and only after the generosity of NRC boss Arthur Abrahams (who loaned the beleaguered team their spare) did he take part in this morning's 20-minute qualifier. Leahey has now scored three season poles, as has Simon Wills, and will be hoping to score his first season win tomorrow in what has been a torrid year.

Reigning champion Simon Wills put his Birrana Racing Reynard 94D second fastest on 1:03.955s and struggled for speed when a valve spring broke mid-session. He did however, manage to pip championship archrival Christian Murchison, who will line up third fastest for tomorrow's two races. Murchison, who leads Wills by just seven points in the championship, endured a spin on his way to third place - 0.17s slower than his main adversary. Ralt Challenge driver Matthew Halliday wound up fourth after looking increasingly competitive yesterday, but couldn't challenge the front three when a puncture saw him stranded mid-session.

Hocking Motorsports' Steve Owen secured a strong fifth place with a time just over a second slower than Leahey's pole, but spun off late in the session when the track was at its quickest. He was happy just to take part after a huge fright yesterday when brake failure saw him leave the circuit at more than 200kmh - fortunately without hitting anything. Rounding out the top ten in the 14-car field where LeRoy Stevenson, Paul Dumbrell (small fire), Dale Brede, Peter Hill (first Silver Star car) and Mark Ellis. In all, seven drivers recorded sub-record times and tomorrow's races look sure to see a repeat of the recent front-running squabbles.

<pre> Top Ten Qualifiers - Determines Grid for Race 1 on Sunday Pos Driver Team Car Fastest Gap On

1 Tim Leahey Murphy Motorsport Reynard 92D 1:13.5308 14

2 Simon Wills Birrana Racing Reynard 94D 1:13.9559 -0.4251 16

3 Christian Murchison NRC Racing Reynard 95D 1:14.1262 -0.5954 13

4 Matthew Halliday Ralt Challenge Racing Reynard 94D 1:14.7968 -1.2660 6

5 Steve Owen Hocking Motorsport Reynard 97D 1:14.9756 -1.4448 8

6 LeRoy Stevenson Birrana Racing Reynard 94D 1:15.0029 -1.4721 12

7 Paul Dumbrell Kmart Racing Reynard 93D 1:15.0118 -1.4810 13

8 Dale Brede NRC Racing Reynard 95D 1:16.9521 -3.4213 10

9 Peter Hill Murphy Motorsport Reynard 94D 1:17.6698 -4.1390 13

10 Mark Ellis Mantis Racing Reynard 92D 1:18.3520 -4.8212 14

Tim Leahey's qualifying time represents an average speed of 143km/h. Current Lap Record is 1:15.4635 set by Simon Wills in a Reynard 94D last year

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Matthew Halliday , Tim Leahey , Simon Wills , Dale Brede , Steve Owen , Paul Dumbrell , Peter Hill , Christian Murchison , Mark Ellis