Talbot Wins Tight Saturday Pole, Sunday Shootout Field Set
Liam Talbot has claimed pole position for Race One of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia at Queensland Raceway, following a tight battle with Triple Eight Race Engineering / JMR’s Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim.
The Shannons Audi pilot, who will share with five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander this weekend, set a 1m 08.3006s in the closing stages of the session to beat the Ibrahim/Jamie Whincup Mercedes by four hundredths of a second in Qualifying One.
Whilst Talbot is in the best possible place to preserve his Pro-Am championship lead later this afternoon, three of his main championship rivals start on the second row.
The Jamec Racing Audi of Geoff Emery (fourth in points) and Max Hofer (second in points) will line up third on the grid, alongside the Harrolds Racing / Volante Rosso Motorsport Mercedes of Ross Poulakis (fifth in points) and Jayden Ojeda.
The EMA Motorsport / The Bend Motorsport Park Porsche duo of Yasser Shahin and Garnet Patterson, both of whom sit third in the Pro-Am standings, will line up in sixth this afternoon, behind Am pole winner Brad Schumacher’s Audi.
The second Triple Eight Race Engineering / JMR Mercedes of Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Broc Feeney will roll out of seventh for Race One, alongside the Valmont Racing / Tigani Motorsport Audi of Sergio Pires and Marcel Zalloua.
The top ten is rounded out by the KFC Audi of Matt Stoupas and Paul Stokell, and Invitational pole winners Geoff Taunton and Daniel Jilesen in their MARC GT.
In Qualifying Two, Hofer set the pace with a 1m 07.6514s in an even tighter session, as the second Harrolds Racing / Volante Rosso Motorsport Mercedes of Josh Hunt missed out on provisional pole by two hundredths of a second.
Their efforts ensured that co-drivers Emery and Christos Batzios will feature in tomorrow’s Top Ten Shootout, which will be the first ever shootout in GT World Challenge Australia.
The top five was rounded out by Tander, Whincup, and Ojeda, who locked in shootout spots for their co-drivers Talbot, Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim, and Poulakis.
The final five spots in tomorrow’s shootout will be filled by Prince Jefri Ibrahim, Shahin, Mike Sheargold (after co-driver Garth Walden qualified eighth), Mike Bailey (co-driver Brett Hobson qualifying in ninth), and Schumacher.
The Taunton/Jilesen MARC GT ensured a clean sweep of the Invitational poles in twelfth, whilst the GT3 Trophy poles were split between the Audis of Paul Lucchitti (starting fourteenth in Race One), and Renee Gracie (starting fifteenth in Race Two).
Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia returns to the track at 2:55pm this afternoon for Race One.
You can catch all the action live, ad-break free, and on demand on Stan Sport, and also on free-to-air television via 9Go.