Pole position for Richards in Carrera Cup opener. Veteran shines in Phillip Island sunshine with young guns close behind. Jim Richards will have a fleet of young and hungry Carrera Cup racers chasing him today at Phillip Island, when the...
Pole position for Richards in Carrera Cup opener.
Veteran shines in Phillip Island sunshine with young guns close behind.
Jim Richards will have a fleet of young and hungry Carrera Cup racers chasing him today at Phillip Island, when the inaugural race in the very first Carrera Cup in Australia blasts off at 3.25pm this afternoon.
The OAMPS/Greenfield Mowers-backed driver lapped the 4.445-kilometre circuit in 1m36.6543s to take pole position, a blinding 0.85s clear of his nearest rival Peter Fitzgerald, debuting his new sponsor ENJO in style. Fitzgerald, a former Australian Production Car Champion, lapped in 1m37.5095s. However, the experienced duo will have a fleet of young guns chasing them, headed up by Greg Murphy Racing's Tim Leahey and 2002 Porsche Cup champion Matthew Coleman.
"I got stuck in traffic and just didn't get the best out of the tyres," said the Orange-based driver, who is more confident of a strong race result this afternoon, while Coleman's performance was strong, particularly after a lacklustre performance at the Australian Grand Prix support races.
Row three will be made up of VIP Pet Foods racer Marcus Marshall and New Zealander Kevin Bell. Marshall lost the front splitter off his Porsche GT3 Cup car on his third lap of the 30-minute qualifying session after a misunderstanding with the slower car of Rusty French.
"It certainly made the car very difficult to drive as I found out" said the Queenslander.
Leahey's GMR team-mate Peter Hill qualified a strong seventh, clear of last year's Porsche Cup Rookie of the Year Jonathon Webb. Tony Quinn and Geoff Morgan rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.
This weekend's opening round of the Carrera Cup features three 20-minute races, each scheduled for 12 laps. Twenty six cars will contest the opening championship round, which will feature on Network Ten's 'Trackside' program this season.