Kelvin van der Linde and Geoff Emery will start from pole position for Race 1 of the 2017 CAMS Australian GT Championship in Adelaide, after a 1:20.452 lap set in the first of the two sessions by van der Linde in the #74 Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS.
“We were hoping to qualify in the top five in practice one, the car went really well,” van der Linde said. “The car felt really good straight out the box.
“In Qualifying 1 I had clear track, I was able to get in a good rhythm and in the end it was enough. I’m really proud of the Jamec Pem team. I only met them two days ago but everything has just gelled.”
Van der Linde’s time on the world-famous street circuit was good enough to put the Audi R8 LMS on the top spot by almost four tenths ahead of the #44 Supabarn Supermarkets R8 of James Koundouris and Ash Walsh.
Third and lining up first on row two of the grid will be Greg Taylor and Nathan Antunes for GT Motorsport, after a 1:21.074 also in Q1, which made it an Audi 1-2-3.
The fastest non-Audi of the session slotted in fourth. McLaren GT factory star Côme Ledogar and series debutant Fraser Ross ended up putting Tekno Autosports’ McLaren 650S GT3 in a good position for Race 1 tomorrow with a best time in Q2 of 1:21.803.
Rounding out the top five was the Trofeo Motorsport Lamborghini with a 1:21.442, less than a tenth faster than the Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 of Scott Taylor and Craig Baird which will start sixth.
Roger Lago in the JBS Australia Lamborghini R-EX will line up seventh, despite the Aussie setting the best time of anyone in Q2, which was a 1:21.454 tour of the 3.2-km circuit.
There were a few incidents in the pre-race running, including a costly spin by Tony Quinn in the Darrell Lea McLaren during Practice which forced the team to miss Q1 and a weekend-ending incident for the Bend Motorsport Lamborghini. Yasser Shahin in the aforementioned Lambo R-EX terminally damaged the car’s suspension after an incident in Qualifying.
The grid has therefore been reduced in size to 25.
The first of the three 40-minute sprint races this weekend supporting the Clipsal 500 will be held tomorrow at 10:35am local time in Adelaide.
Photo courtesy of Australian GT