Herne claims first S5000 pole in wild Darwin qualifying
NATHAN HERNE has scored his first S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship pole position, surviving a wild and red-flag interrupted qualifying session at Hidden Valley on Saturday morning.
Herne has been S5000s ‘nearly’ man so far, nine times finishing on the podium without yet having scored a race win.
He was in the right place at the right time in a five-minute shootout for pole position after qualifying was delayed significantly following a hefty crash early in the session.
Tim Berryman’s ALABAR / Form 700 entry crashed heavily at pit entry while warming up the tyres, bringing out a lengthy red flag to recover the car and driver.
Berryman climbed from the car under his own power and was taken to the circuit medical centre for precautionary checks.
The session resumed with five minutes to go with drivers pushing hard from the outset: Golding the first to set a representative lap.
That was quickly topped by Herne, who banked a 1m03.9352s best to jump to the top.
Versa Motorsport’s Cooper Webster fell agonisingly short with his 1m03.9853s best, just 0:00.0501 seconds behind.
It stands as the closest pole position margin in S5000 history.
Any further opportunity to improve was then halted when Sebastien Amadio crashed at Turn 12 with just over a minute to go, bringing out another Red flag.
That left John Martin in an excellent third, Aaron Cameron fourth and championship leader Joey Mawson in fifth position.
Tim Macrow qualified sixth – meaning he’s been either fifth or sixth on the grid at every race this year – while Golding dropped to seventh after running off the road at turn one on his final lap.
Kaleb Ngatoa, Jordan Boys, Blake Purdie, Amadio and Berryman – who didn’t set a time – completed the field.
The first race of the final round is set to commence at 11:00am local time and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo.