SUPER SIX SET SERIES SHOWDOWN Six drivers have legitimately put their hands up as championship contenders today after an enthralling battle for pole position in round one of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Clipsal 500 in ...
SUPER SIX SET SERIES SHOWDOWN
Six drivers have legitimately put their hands up as championship contenders today after an enthralling battle for pole position in round one of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
All six drivers were within half a second of eachother and went under the previous qualifying record set by Jim Richards last year.
Leading the way again today was 2004 series champion Alex Davison who claimed pole position with a new Porsche lap record of 1:24.3041.
This was the sixth pole of his Carrera Cup Australia career and first since setting the pace at the Lexmark Indy 300 in 2004.
The 26-year-old Glenfords Tool Centres and DeWalt sponsored driver bettered Richards' former lap record by more than six-tenths of a second.
Right on the pace was another experienced Porsche driver making a return to the category. Gold Coast-based Kiwi Craig Baird recovering from a bout of food poisoning pleased his new Team VIP Petfoods with a hot lap of 1:24.4484 to start tomorrow's race one on the front row of the grid.
Bob Jane T-Marts-backed young gun David Reynolds was third fastest in 1:24.5688 to show he will be a contender this year. The 20-year-old has cast aside soreness from recent shoulder surgery caused by a torn rotator cuff.
Starting next to Reynolds will be the most winningest driver in the category's three year history in Jim Richards.
The 58-year-old OAMPS Insurance Brokers-backed racing stalwart set his fastest time of 1:24.6487 close to the end of the session.
Still the youngest driver in the field this season, 20-year-old Ian Dyk, showed he is one of Australian motor racing brightest prospects.
The Juniper Racing steerer was fifth in qualifying with a best lap of 1:24.7066, and is already showing a greater level of experience and composure than in his rookie year.
Rounding out the 'super six' is another rising star in Jonathon Webb. The 22-year-old Glenfords Tool Centres and Makita-backed driver also broke 1:25 with a scorching 1:24.7563.
With the 2006 title the most open in history, the top five drivers were from five different teams ensuring plenty of in-paddock rivalry will occur this season.
Four up-and-coming drivers started the season in promising shape by rounding out the top 10.
Last year's Australian Formula 3 champion Aaron Caratti was seventh fastest, just ahead of former Formula Ford frontrunner Dean Fiore, ex Production Car star David Russell and local Porsche favourite Bryce Washington.
Round one of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will continue tomorrow at the Clipsal 500 with Race 1 and 2.