Title hopeful Hamish Hardeman has completed the opening day of the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series finale in perfect fashion, claiming pole position for the first of three championship deciding races.
The series leader navigated tricky, variable weather conditions in qualifying to post the quickest time (1:44.1281), 0.19secs ahead of his title rival Jaxon Evans, with fellow Professional Class racer, Jake Klarich, in third. The drying circuit saw almost the entire field post their best time on the final two laps of the session.
Hardeman’s best time was achieved on his final lap of the day and will start tomorrow’s all important race one in the number one grid position.
“That was an exciting qualifying session. I was happy to put a good lap together and take pole position; I’ll just push forward into race one with that confidence and hopefully get a solid result,” said Hardeman.
“I’ll go home, get a good night’s sleep and come into tomorrow with a good mindset entering the first of three important races.”
Anthony Gilbertson had his best qualifying effort of the season in fourth, claiming pole position in the Elite Class after a tumultuous session on track.
“I’m stoked to get my first pole position in the Elite Class. This was my first time driving in the wet, ever, and my first time driving with wet tyres on any race car so I’m really happy to get pole position under those circumstances,” said Gilbertson.
“I went into the tyre barrier on my first flying lap. I came into the pits, then tried to ease back into the session, getting quicker and quicker before getting the job done on the last lap.”
Sam Shahin was a close second in class after the Friday afternoon session, a narrow 0.04secs off Gilbertson’s best time, with Elite Class points leader Tim Miles in third from Brian Finn, Ross McGregor and series returnee and series co-founder, Sven Burchartz, ninth overall and sixth in class.
Michael Stillwell was the 10th best qualifier from Class B pace-setter Shane Barwood, Michael Tsigeridis, Brendan Cook and Tony Martin.
The final three races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series will be held on Saturday, with all three titles – Professional Class, Elite Class and Class B – to be decided on the final day of competition.
Saturday September 10, 2016
9:55am Race 1 (11 laps)
12:25pm Race 2 (11 laps)
4:10pm Race 3 (11 laps)
1. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing – 1:44.1281*
2. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-it / Willship – 1:44.3210s
3. #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Scott Taylor Motorsport – 1:45.7684s
4. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Movie 8 Racing / Hallmark Homes – 1:47.1549s
5. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) htfu – 1:47.1954s
6. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory – 1:47.2777s
7. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D / Force Accessories – 1:48.0642s
8. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows – 1:48.1200s
9. #90 Sven Burchartz (Elite Class) Kalus Kenny Itelex Lawyers – 1:48.5640s
10. #6 Michael Stillwell (Elite Class) Logicar Australia – 1:50.2821s
11. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopendic Group – 1:52.8229s
12. #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) Hunter French Real Estate – 1:53.6599s
13. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF Family & Cosmetic Dental – 1:53.6728s
14. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar – 1:55.8652s