Ben Barnicoat has put the #45 Thunderhead Carlin Racing Dallara on pole position for tomorrow’s 4 hours of The Bend, with a lap time of 2:35.698. This came after a significant run off at Turn 25 on his first flying lap, while the Briton looked on for a sub 2:35 lap before a red flag suspended the session with 9 minutes left, believed to be triggered by a spin for the #26 G-Drive by Algarve Aurus.
This was, incidentally the first sportscar racing pole position both for the team and for the Dallara P217 chassis!
Mathias Beche’s early benchmark in the #34 Inter Europol Ligier looked good enough for second until being eclipsed by both Nick Cassidy in the #1 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier and Roman Rusinov in the #26 G-Drive by Algarve Aurus 01 with their respective flying laps.
Much like the earlier practice sessions, it was Arjun Maini in the #59 RLR MSport Oreca 05 that topped LMP2-Am. A 2:43.235 good enough to hold off local Adelaide driver Garnet Patterson in the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier for pole position.
LMP3 saw pole position go to the #2 Nielsen Racing Norma M30, in the hands of Colin Noble, setting a 2:50.802, for Colin’s first P3 pole position ever (his previous successes all done in Series where the Bronze driver sets the qualifying time). The session was red-flagged partway during the first flying lap for the field, with the #3 Nielsen Racing car grinding to a halt down the hill at T9 – no drive reported by Garett Grist. This turned the 15-minute session into a 10-minute shoot out.
Alessandro Bressan slotted into second on his last flying lap, with a 2:51.925 in the #12 ACE1 Villorba Corse Ligier JSP3. His lap eclipsed both the #13 Inter Europol Ligier of Nigel Moore and the #9 Graff Norma of David Droux, who were both looking to improve on their last lap, but ended up affecting each other’s laps.
In GT, Davide Rigon snatched pole position for the #27 Hub Auto Corse Ferrari, setting a 2:56.109 after the chequered flag to put them ahead of Car Guy Racing for tomorrow’s race. Côme Ledogar set a 2:56.924 on his first flying lap, which looked to be good enough, until Rigon set a session best sector 2 and 3 to better the lap by 8 tenths. Jens Klingmann broke up the group of Ferraris, putting his #17 Astro Veloce BMW into third with a 2:58.442 on his last lap.
T2 Motorsports and Spirit of Race rounded out the top 5; both Rio Haryanto in the #75 and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 losing laps due to track limit violations, as did the 6th placed #88 JLOC Lamborghini, driven by Andre Couto.
The 4 Hours of the Bend starts at 1 pm Local (Australian Central Daylight Savings Time) tomorrow.