Nick Rowe has claimed a sensational U Race It Pole Position by just nine-hundredths over championship rivals Will Brown and Jordan Love at Phillip Island.
Team BRM’s Brenton Grove was an unfortunate spectator, after incurring a sizeable impact into the tyre bundles between Turns 9 and 10 during qualifying. Grove received a medical all clear from officials upon returning to the paddock.
“It’s really unfortunate what happened,” Grove said.
“I guess it’s the good and bad of motor sport really. You take the ups and you take the downs, so unfortunately the boys have got a bit of work to do tonight but we’ll come back tomorrow stronger than ever and have a crack.”
With the green flag returning with three minutes remaining, Rowe, Brown and Love had traded times throughout the final three minutes of qualifying, with Rowe being the only driver to set a 1:35 lap time.
“That was pretty cool out there,” said U Race It Pole Position winner Nick Rowe.
“When the red came out we had pole, I was hoping we wouldn’t go green again! We went green and the car was good enough to outpace the BRM boys, which was pretty good.
“Coming up in the main straight I saw that I had two green boxes, but then I saw Brownie had a red and a green and I was like ‘Oh this is going to be tight’, but we were able to hold them enough.”
Brown had to contend with starting tomorrow’s opening race from second place, after a mysterious mechanical gremlin appeared in the final stages of qualifying.
“Pretty exciting qualifying,” Brown said.
“On the last lap, the car decided to shut down. So we’re working and checking what’s wrong with the car. So hopefully we can work towards Race One and have a couple of good races.”
Love rued traffic on his final run and believed he had the car underneath him to eclipse Rowe’s time.
“It was a bit up and down,” Love said.
“We started off alright, we were struggling for a lot of rear grip. Obviously the red flag came out, so that never helps I guess. Then there was two last laps, one last flyer, I went for it and ended up with cars in front of me.
“I feel I could’ve done a bit better in that situation, gave myself a bit more room but didn’t manage to do that. We’re looking forward to come through in Race One and hopefully we can be up the front again.”
CoolDrive/DREAM Motorsport debutant Simon Fallon was an impressive fifth ahead of SCT Logistics/AGI Sport rookie Jack Smith, and is eager to approach tomorrow’s two races with a fresh perspective after his introductory day today.
“Feels pretty good!,” Fallon said.
“I was pretty excited about it. It would’ve helped if I drove a little better, I was a little inconsistent after the red flag kind of mixed my head up a little bit and I messed up a few laps, but it wasn’t too bad for a first qualifying!”
Jordan McGregor’s entry has been withdrawn from the event this weekend, with the team electing to repair the car for Round 3 after sustaining damage in the opening practice session.
Racing resumes on Saturday with Race One at 10:50am AEST, and Race Two at 2:05pm.
U Race It Pole Position Results
|1||97||Nick Rowe||AGI Sport||7||1:35.9395|
|2||99||Will Brown||Team BRM||7||1:36..0321||0.0926|
|3||79||Jordan Love||Team BRM||7||1:36.1749||0.2354|
|4||91||Josh Denton||Team BRM||7||1:37.0150||1.0755|
|6||68||Jack Smith||AGI Sport||7||1:38.1042||2.1647|
|9||23||Brenton Grove||Team BRM||2||1:39.1372||3.1977|
U Race It Pole Position Standings
Will Brown – Team BRM: Symmons Plains (1)
Nick Rowe – AGI Sport: Phillip Island (1)