AUS: Series Wakefield Park qualifying report

CARATTI SECURES SUCCESIVE POLE POSITIONS Aaron Caratti's (Parklands on Bertram) sensational run of form continues after the West Australian driver claimed pole position for the first race of Carrera Cup Australia's third round at...

CARATTI SECURES SUCCESIVE POLE POSITIONS

Aaron Caratti's (Parklands on Bertram) sensational run of form continues after the West Australian driver claimed pole position for the first race of Carrera Cup Australia's third round at Wakefield Park, Goulburn, this afternoon.

Caratti proved the inaugural pole position he secured at the FORMULA 1 ING Australian Grand Prix was no fluke as he snared first spot on the grid -- and the Wakefield Park lap record -- in a time of 0:58.4476 seconds.

Dean Fiore (Complispace/Advance Energy) was second in 0:58.6814 while championship leader Craig Baird (ACER/Leading Solutions) was third in 0:58.7380.

David Wall (Shannon's Insurance) was fourth, while Barton Mawer (No Fear) qualified fifth -- his best ever Carrera Cup qualification.

In the Pilatus Challenge, (which is for non-professional drivers over the age of 30), Canberra's James Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets) had a great session to qualify ninth -- his highest qualification of the season.

His brother Theo was the next best Challenge driver in 13th, with Shaun Juniper (Juniper Developments) 14th.

In a first for Carrera Cup, qualifying was split into two sessions, with the fastest 10 drivers from the morning's practice heading out first while the remaining 10 competitors were forced to cool their heels for 15 minutes.

This meant tactics played a role and they told a tale, with Caratti and Fiore qualifying in the first session with Baird opting to post a slower time in practice in order to go out in the second 15 minutes.

With the extra rubber on the circuit and a higher track temperature, Baird expected the decision to pay dividends, but he wasn't able to string together a lap and Caratti took full advantage.

Understandably Caratti was ecstatic with the result.

"I thought I missed my window because on the first set of tyres I couldn't put together a lap," he said.

"But I put the second set on with about five minutes to go, got a really good gap between the other drivers and managed to put it all together for one really good lap.

"Everything came together at the right time so hopefully I will have good race pace and be able to put a gap on the rest of the field tomorrow."

Fiore meanwhile will be concentrating on consistency.

"I got baulked twice while on was on my flying laps but I ran wide on turn one on both of those laps so even if I didn't get baulked I didn't put myself in the best position," he said.

"But the front row isn't a bad spot to be."

Baird also had some issues on the first two corners and will be working hard to rectify the problem before Race One on Saturday.

"I put in new brake pads before the weekend and I'm continually locking them up in turns one and two which is losing me between two and three tenths of a second," he said.

"I'm mega happy with the rest of the circuit but I couldn't make it work in turns one and two and that's what cost me."

Koundouris was thrilled after his best qualifying of the season and will aim for top 10 finishes for the rest of the weekend.

"I've just had some really bad luck in the first two rounds of the year so if I can get it going my way I can't see any reason why I can't be in the top 10 all the time," he said.

Round Three of Carrera Cup Australia continues at Wakefield Park tomorrow, with Race One of three scheduled to be held at 1.45pm.

-credit: cupcar.com.au

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Series Porsche
Drivers Craig Baird , James Koundouris , Barton Mawer , David Wall , Aaron Caratti , Dean Fiore