FHOLDEN: Wills over Kelly by 0.03 in Hidden Valley qualifying

Simon Wills has grabbed pole position for the inaugural Formula Holden race at Hidden Valley tomorrow by the absolute slimmest of margins from Holden Young Lion Rick Kelly in a qualifying session which had it all. A number of drivers spun off the...

Simon Wills has grabbed pole position for the inaugural Formula Holden race at Hidden Valley tomorrow by the absolute slimmest of margins from Holden Young Lion Rick Kelly in a qualifying session which had it all. A number of drivers spun off the 2.9km circuit in the warm conditions as they struggled to stay in touch with the dynamic duo of Wills and Kelly.

Wills topped the timesheets early in the session before both Emerson Newton-John and Roger Oakeshott spun off at the end of the 1.1km straight at close to 260km/h! This brought out the red flag, although neither driver suffered any major damage. Oakeshott later retired with gearbox problems.

Kelly lined up at pit exit first, and led the charge on the restart as both he and Wills improved their times. Simon Wills then lowered the mark to an absolutely sizzling 1:03.3548 which looked unbeatable with about 5 minutes to run in the session. Kelly was not taking it lying down, and the Young Lion responded first with a 1:03.5275 and then with a 1:03.3879 on his second to last lap, falling short of Wills by only 3 one-hundredths to take second position for tomorrows race.

19 year old Alan Gurr recovered from slower times in the morning practice to secure a very impressive third place on the grid. Stewart McColl improved to fourth position on his last flying lap before having a spin at turn 1, kissing the wall along one side of his NRC Racing Reynard 95D. Damage was limited to the steering and rims, and McColl will start from the second row tomorrow with his qualifying time only 4 tenths of a second behind Gurr.

Christian Murchison struggled with power problems to round out the top five, with team-mate and debutante Con Toparis securing an impressive sixth position after surviving a triplet of spins during the session. This is the first ever Formula Holden race weekend for the Canberra driver, and he was definitely exploring the limits of the Hocking Motorsport Reynard 97D.

Emerson Newton-John struggled during the session, unable to reproduce the faster times he set in the earlier practice session, and will start from position 7 for the first of tomorrow's two 17 lap affairs.

Peter Hill (M-ONE-11 Reynard 95D) will start from eighth, ahead of Ellis, Clearihan, Oakeshott and Peters.

Formula Holdens hit the track for the 17 lap Race 1 on Sunday at 10:05am, followed by Race 2 at 1:35pm.

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QUALIFYING SESSION ( 20 Minutes )

Pos Car Driver Vehicle Laps Fastest...Lap Gap

1 1 Simon Wills (SA) Reynard 94D 13 4 1:03.3548* 2 2 Rick Kelly (SA) Reynard 94D 16 15 1:03.3879 0:00.0331 3 11 Alan Gurr (NSW) Reynard 94D 17 16 1:04.3806 0:01.0258 4 19 Stewart McColl (VIC) Reynard 95D 15 15 1:04.7870 0:01.4322 5 75 Christian Murchison VIC Reynard 97D 14 14 1:05.5028 0:02.1480 6 74 Con Toparis (VIC) Reynard 97D 16 9 1:06.3456 0:02.9908 7 20 Emerson Newton-John VIC Reynard 95D 16 13 1:06.5020 0:03.1472 8 66 Peter Hill (VIC) Reynard 95D 15 13 1:07.6900 0:04.3352 9 17 Mark Ellis (VIC) Reynard 92D 14 14 1:09.4430 0:06.0882 10 27 Terry Clearihan (NSW) Ralt RT23 13 12 1:10.1271 0:06.7723 11 28 Roger Oakeshott (SA) Reynard 97D 5 2 1:10.6278 0:07.2730 12 24 Ian Peters (SA) Reynard 91D 15 14 1:11.7010 0:08.3462

Fastest Lap Av.Speed Is 163kph R=under lap record by greatest margin, r=under lap record, *=fastest lap time

-Formula Holden

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Rick Kelly , Simon Wills , Alan Gurr , Peter Hill , Christian Murchison , Mark Ellis , Emerson Newton-John