Golding dominates qualifying to grab Phillip Island pole
JAMES GOLDING has scored his third career S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship pole position after a dominant performance in qualifying at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit today.
The Valvoline GRM driver topped arch rival Joey Mawson by 0.4370s – the second largest pole margin in S5000s brief history – thanks to his 1m24.8126s.
That was the best ever lap recorded by the category at the high-speed 4.46km circuit and mirrored the qualifying order from Round 1 of the championship at Symmons Plains a month ago.
The impressive times came as the field adapted to the new specification Hoosier tyre in place this weekend, which has required some setup changes from teams to find an ideal balance in their cars.
With Mawson second, Cooper Webster continued to prove the potential of his Versa Motorsport entry, scoring his best ever starting position in his brief career thanks to qualifying third.
Webster sits second in the championship after chasing Tim Macrow all the way in the Tassie finale’ last time out.
Another personal best came from Kaleb Ngatoa, who qualified his Team BRM entry on the outside of the second row, as he makes his first S5000 start at a circuit where he actually has prior experience.
Ngatoa bested Championship leader Tim Macrow, who was fifth, and S5000 debutant Zane Goddard who qualified his car sixth.
Macrow struggled for pace throughout practice but improved late in the 20-minute qualifying session to jump on the third row.
Goddard was consistently quick throughout the day and though sixth, was less than one second from Golding’s pole benchmark.
Blake Purdie, Shae Davies and Adam Garwood completed the stout field set for the three races this weekend.
Race one and two will be contested tomorrow as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event at Phillip Island, with both to be broadcast live on Stan Sport.