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Archive for February, 2007

It was finalized today the agreement between Team Minardi by GP Racing and Davide Rigon for the 2007 season of the Euro Series 3000 Championship.

Davide Rigon had already run in 2006 for the paduan Team in the race of Barcelona, on the Montmelò circuit, actually reaching second place on his first race after having been first for 7 laps.

“We’ve finally signed!” declares the twenty-year-old pilot from Vicenza, after having just signed the contract. “I’ve been very tense this last few days before the finalizing of the agreement, but everything’s gone all right. I’m glad that Team Minardi by GP Racing has believed in me and I hope not to disappoint Giancarlo Minardi and Giancarlo Bada, Presidents of the Team, Tancredi Pagiaro, the manager, the sports manager Giovanni Minardi, and all the team for the faith they’ve put in me with the results obtained on circuit.”

“All the assistance by my sponsors and the people who are dear to me had been fundamental,” goes on Davide Rigon. “And it’s also because of them that I’m ready to do my best for the 2007 season.”

Rodolfo AvilaMacanese Motorsport rising star Rodolfo Avila will join to Performance Racing for the first official British F3 International Series test of the 2007 session at Pembrey Circuit (Wales) on February 19/20/21.

Avila aims to race in British F3 Championship Class this season and he is working hard to get the necessary budget to accomplish his mission. As testing restrictions Series Regulations for 2007 prohibit circuit testing in an F3 car by any team or driver intending to compete in next year’s Series during the period from January 1 to February 14 inclusive. This ban is not limited simply to the UK and Europe; it is world-wide. So Macanese motorsport ambassador had to reject some seducing offers to test and race in that period.

In the home of Welsh Motorsport Rodolfo Avila wants to “get back to work. This is a very important test for me as it is the first after a long break. The team is the same of the last year for me but it has been deeply restructured after the end of 2006. These three days will help me to evaluate the competitiveness of the championship and who are going to be my opponents if I join to the series this year.”

Because of this testing session Rodolfo Avila will celebrate the Chinese New Year and his Birthday (on the 19th) far away from his hometown and his family and friends. “This is part of the job…”, says the young Macanese who knows how important is to represent Macau SAR in the world of Motor Racing.

If Rodolfo Avila can get into British F3 Championship Class he will be the first Macanese driver to race in the top-class of the most prestigious single-seater competition for rising racing stars. Around the world, no other race series has produced as many Grand Prix winners and World Champions as British Formula 3.

Formula 3 Australia, on behalf of Team BRM, has today confirmed that Hollywood actor Frankie Muniz will not compete in the Australian Formula 3 races at the 2007 Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix, following speculation in the media recently discussing his potential entry into the event.

Muniz, star of the hit TV Show ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ and a number of popular Films, is this year competing with Jensen Motorsport in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and had made enquires to Australian Formula 3 outfit Team BRM and owner Bronte Rundle to explore the possibility of competing in the Non-championship Formula 3 races at Albert Park.

Unfortunately, the close proximity of the Australian Grand Prix to the final official Champ Car Atlantic Test at Laguna Seca, when coupled with traveling time from his United States base, made crucial pre-event testing impossible to organize prior to the Grand Prix.

As such Muniz and Eric Jensen recently confirmed to Team BRM and Formula 3 Australia that they have decided to no longer pursue the Australian option at this time.

“Eric Jensen from Jensen Motorsport contacted us on behalf of Frankie with a view to having him contest the Australian Formula 3 Support races at Albert Park, to help him gain experience in different cars and at different tracks as he works towards a professional racing career,” Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle said.

“Team BRM and Formula 3 Australia were very keen to have him compete at the Australian Grand Prix and we worked hard to make it happen.

“Unfortunately the limited time between him arriving in Australia and the Grand Prix event itself (which starts on Thursday, March 15th) meant that it was impossible to get Frankie in a car to test before the meeting, which would have limited his time to adapt to driving the different car and working with a different team.

“We’re disappointed that he isn’t coming, but at the same time it is a great sign that the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship continues to be internationally recognized as a key place to learn the craft of Open Wheel racing. The additional international interest in the category this year confirms that.

“We wish Frankie and Jensen Motorsport all the best for the year ahead in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and hope that the schedule works out for them to race here in Australia next year.” Rundle said.

The Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship is Australia’s premier Open Wheel Championship – competitors compete for the Australian Drivers Championship and the CAMS Gold Star – contested over an eight-round national championship.

Champ Car star Will Power, V8 Supercar drivers Michael Caruso, Alan Gurr, Tim Slade and Chris Alajajian, A1 Team Australia drivers Barton Mawer, Karl Reindler and Ian Dyk and Australian GT Championship frontrunner Peter Hackett are all notable graduates of the category since it’s inception in Australia in 1999.

A full field of Formula 3 cars will contest four non-championship races as a support category at this years’ Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix, on March 15 – 18.

Leanne TanderFleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander will race in New Zealand for the first time when she travels across the Tasman to join the Toyota Racing Series at Manfield, this weekend.

Currently placed fourth in the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship following a fast yet unlucky weekend at Eastern Creek two weeks ago, Tander will join the European Techniques team for this weekend’s championship round at the South Island circuit.

In a quirk of fate, Tander will be untied with former Australian Formula 3 race winner Barton Mawer in the two-car team that began the season with another Aussie, Lucas Dumbrell.

The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand’s premier Open Wheel series, featuring identical chassis and 1.8 liter four cylinder engines.

This years talented field includes the likes of Andy Knight, Daniel Gaunt, Bahrain driver Hamad Al Fardan and Australian F3 Champ Ben Clucas.

Tander, Australia’s most successful female racing car driver, said that whilst the deal was a last-minute opportunity she was keen to get behind the wheel in New Zealand.

“I’ve only been there twice, once on holiday and once to see Garth race in the V8 Supercar round at Pukekohe, so it’s going to be a great experience,” she said.

”I got a call from the team owner, Trevor Scheumack, on Monday and he asked if I was interested in racing for him, so Naturally I said of course! Trevor is trying to have an Australian outfit in the Toyota series so it’s great that he rang me and offered the drive.

”I know Bart from his time here in Australia and It will be nice to have a teammate I know to work with and help learn and develop the car,” Tander added.

Whilst the Toyota Racing series cars are smaller, lighter and less powerful than Leanne’s Fleetcare TanderSport Formula 3 Dallara, she said that she expected the basic driving principals to be very similar.

”The fundamentals are the same, they are both wings and slicks open wheelers so the driving technique wont be too different.

”Because I’ve been driving Open Wheel cars for the last few years It shouldn’t be too hard to adapt to the different car. From talking to Ben Clucas and Barton is seems like they have a little less grip, less aero and less speed compared to what I’ve been driving, but the basics are very similar.”

”The main challenge will be to learn the car and the circuit in ‘rookie’ practice on Thursday so I can be on the pace from the start of practice on Friday.” she said.

This weekends round at Manfield is the third round of an international stanza that has made up the middle section of this summers Toyota Racing Series. It is the fifth round of the championship proper, the eight round series concluding in late April this year.

Tander said that she hoped a good performance would see her invited back for future forays into the Kiwi racing scene.

”I’m certainly hoping to go well this weekend,” She said.

”I’d love to have the chance to go over there and race again, so we’ll see what happens and how the results pan out.”

Leanne Tander’s next run in her Fleetcare TanderSport Formula 3 car will be at the 2007 Formula 1 ™ ING Australian Grand Prix in March this year.

Dutch rookie Renger van der Zande has signed with Prema Powerteam for the 2007 F3 Euro Series Championship. Renger, current rookie driver in A1 team Netherlands, ended last years German Recaro Cup in fourth position. With 8 podium finishes and a pole he demonstrated his potential.

Born 16th of February 1986 in the Netherlands, he started karting at the age of 12 years. With many top results in 100cc Formula A in German, Italian, European and World Championships he entered Formula Renault 2.0 at van Amersfoort Racing in 2004.

In 2005 he dominated this class in Germany and the Netherlands with a lot of wins and became Dutch Champion. After a series of impressive tests with the leading Euro Series teams in November last year., Renger made his choice for Prema Powerteam. The match with Angelo Rosin’s team feels promising for the Flying Dutchman. Meanwhile the team has restructured t heir technical department to strengthen operations for the 2007 season.

Angelo Rosin – Prema Powerteam Team Principal: “We are very happy to have Renger with us. What caught my attention at his test at Hockenheim, was his outright speed and his good technical feed back. The fact that we were able to reach an agreement with Renger to work together and compete in the F3 Euro Series makes me happy. Renger is one of the most promising drivers in the European scene and with him we are convinced that we can achieve the results that we expect and hope for. We have modified our technical structure. This year I personally will guide the team in the whole Championship to support Renger and the other Prema drivers using the experience I have obtained during my total motor sport career.”

Renger van der Zande: “For me it is a very nice next step. Since my karting days I considered F3 Euro Series as my favourite class out of which a lot of high level drivers developed. Prema is for me Premium! I love the Italian lifestyle and the Prema way of working. The structure and organisation of the team is professional and they have the right staff and contacts to set up a winning car. Among the winter tests I did, the Prema test at Hockenheim worked out great. This inspires me to catch up 2007 with large ambitions. I can’t wait starting my Italian language courses and joining the team”

Driving for Team France, CRM driver Loic Duval entered Round 7 of this season’s A1GP championship, held at Eastern Creek, Australia over the February 2-4 weekend. The circuit, located on the outskirts of the country’s biggest centre of commerce, Sydney, featured a 3.93-klilometre track sporting 12 corners. The circuit is historically significant as it played host to the motorcycling Australian GP in the past.

Official Qualifying, held on the Saturday, comprised a total of four sessions. From those, the two fastest laps are calculated, determining the Grid for Sunday’s first event, the Sprint Race. Loic attacked convincingly, netting 2nd-quickest time overall.

However, the times of the lead group comprised a fierce battle, and were so close throughout that Duval’s combined tally of 2:36.711 wound him up in fourth place. With the top position recorded by Team Germany at 2:36.225, the narrow margin was clearly evident as less than half a second (0.486) filled the first two rows.

Sunday morning was the scene of the 14-lap Sprint Race. Loic remained in his grid position of 4th for the majority of the race (11 laps). Then on lap 12, he rose to third, a position he would keep to the flag. Team Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg took the win, with New Zealand’s Jonny Reid second. Expectations were high for the Feature.

Unfortunately, a delay at the start of the long race (46 laps) meant Loic went into the first corner in fifth place. By lap nine he was up to third, but after the mandatory pit stop, returned in 14th. From here a massive push saw the French flyer rise to 9th – a position in which he would cross the finish line. The result means that Team France fall behind Team New Zealand to third, though it is by the slimmest of margins – a mere 5 points.

Loic Duval:
“The start of the long race was tough as a little too much acceleration meant I slid. That cost me two positions. I wasn’t worried though as I knew those two eventually went off. It was the pit stop that caused the most delay. After that, I had to fight and claw my back up to 9th. That took an unbelievable effort. To say I’m disappointed isn’t the half of it!”

A1 Team France Director Eric Boullier:
“Loic drove a superb race in the Sprint. He succeeded in passing the Team Great Britain car of Robbie Kerr by using the Safety Car to take third place. After getting off to a slow start in the Feature, he ran fifth for a long while. There was confusion in the race, brought on by the Safety Car, though the unpredictable trouble in the pits cost us seven positions. Regretfully we’ve dropped to third in the championship standings as a result, behind Germany and New Zealand.

Running four cars in the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship has translated into some early success for Team BRM.

The three-time series champions – including last seasons dominant victory with Ben Clucas – are now co-leaders of the 2007 series thanks to the efforts of Chris Alajajian and have also created the series’ newest race winner in West Aussie Stuart Kostera.

Team BRM has also continued its longstanding reputation for finding young driving talent following the debut of 19-year-old Italian driver Marco Mapelli.

Maher Algadri posted one of his best ever performances since joining the championship in the fourth of Team BRMs entries.

Stuart Kostera – Team BRM / PHR Dallara F304

Kostera, one of the form drivers from the conclusion of the 2006 season, joined Team BRM in the off season and was immediately on the pace at Eastern Creek.

After sitting inside the top four in practice, Kostera snatched a sensational pole position for the first race by just .0391s – his first career pole since joining the championship mid way through last season.

Whilst unable to replicate his qualifying one pace in a hotter second session, he still qualified in eighth place less than a second from pole position and with hopes of moving up the order.

Kostera made a perfect start in the first race and lead from start to finish – including holding off a late race charge from teammate Chris Alajajian – to record his maiden Formula 3 win.

A concerted effort from the fourth row saw the West Australian driver move up the order to finish race two in fifth place. He finished the weekend with 29 points, just two outside the championship lead.

“I’m obviously really happy with that performance,” Said Kostera, who now sits just three points out of the championship lead.

“In the second race I had a go at the start but it got a bit crazy so I just went for the points. The strong first race set us up really well but there was only so much I could do from eighth on the grid for the second race.

“It’s been a good start for the championship, which is the important thing.”

Chris Alajajian – Team BRM / Jack Hillermans Smash Dallara F304
Sydneysider Chris Alajajian was one of the undoubted stars of the Eastern Creek round in his first drive since joining Team BRM in the off season.

Alajajian only qualified seventh and ninth for the two races respectively but his Sunday performance produced two stunning drives that elevated him up the order on both occasions.

In race one he made up three places on the opening lap, before chasing after Tim Macrow in a close battle for second place.

On Lap five he made an astounding move around the outside of the 230kph turn one to move into second place, holding on to score a Team BRM 1 – 2 with teammate Kostera.

“We had our downs on Saturday and our ups today – from Zero to not quite hero – but we’ve made a good step forward,” Alajajian said.

“The guys just prepared such a special car. Experience says it all and Team BRM have got that experience and the knowledge, and they have given me the confidence and the knowledge to allow me to do the job. Thanks to the team because they did such an awesome job.”

Marco Mapelli – Team BRM / Gawler Farm Machinery – Spiess Opel
At just 19, Marco Mapelli had his first ever drive of a Formula 3 car in Friday morning’s first practice session at Eastern Creek.

In difficult conditions that started out with a fully wet circuit and ended with a drying surface, Mapelli completed 8 laps of the 3.9km circuit and logged third fastest time, less than a second from the fastest recorded in the session.

In drier conditions Saturday, Mapelli continued his learning process and qualified sixth and seventh for the two races, respectively.

In race one he was an unfortunate victim of a turn two collision, the resulting impact leaving the young Italian out of his first ever Formula 3 race after less than a kilometer.

The second race was much more productive, Mapelli making a strong start from seventh and moving forward to finish his first full Formula 3 race distance in sixth place.

The result left Mapelli with six championship points to his credit, and left Team BRM with a certain star of the future on their hands.

“For me it was a hard weekend,” Marco said.

“Race one was disappointing, to be taken out, so it was good to finish the second race. I would have liked to be on the podium but when the two people in front of me hit each other I lost positions.

“Before the next round we will do some testing to help me get experience in a difficult championship like Formula 3.” He said.

Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle, was justifiably pleased with the weekend.

“It’s been a good one for us, all the drivers did a great job and produced some fantastic performances,” he said.

“Congratulations to Stuart for his first race win – we’re pleased to have him on board this year and happy that he has been able to make such a strong start to the championship.

“Chris was at his very best, especially in the races, and we’re really happy to be working with him this season. He’s undoubtedly a talent and proved his race craft in both races.

“In Macro we have an undoubted talent who put together a very strong weekend given his level of experience in these cars. We’ll take him testing between now and the Grand Prix and I think once he has spent some more time behind the wheel he will be very, very competitive as well.

“It’s shaping up to be a fantastic year for Team BRM, we can’t wait!” Rundle added.

championship-winning-potential-from-astutiMelbourne-based Astuti Motorsport have proved to the world that they have the potential to win the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship following last weekend’s opening round of the series at Eastern Creek Raceway.

And whilst the team didn’t win a race, both drivers and team worked well together to build themselves a solid platform on which to launch a championship attack throughout the remaining seven rounds to be held around Australia this year.

Astuti Motorsport’s international approach to the 2007 championship saw Austrian youngster Walter Grubmuller and British ace Charlie Hollings join the team in the lead up to Eastern Creek’s A1GP World Cup of Motorsport round at the weekend.

Whilst Grubmuller had the advantage of having tested with the team in the off season, Hollings brought top-level British Formula 3 experience to the team in a balanced driver lineup.

In wet conditions in opening practice, Hollings was a brilliant second in just his first visit to the circuit, whilst Grubmuller was sixth – gaining his first wet weather experience in a Formula 3 car.

In the dry that afternoon the Austrian vaulted towards the top of the tables to set the day’s quick time.

And as if to keep the balance within the team in check, it was Hollings who lead the way for Astuti on Saturday en route to pole position in the second qualifying session. The #11 Astuti Motorsport drivers timed his run perfectly and leaped to the top of the charts after the checkered flag had flown.

Grubmuller continued to develop his setup and experience, and secured fifth and sixth-placed starting positions for the two races – despite being just three-tenths of the pole time in the first qualifying session.

Race day was a drama-filled occasion for the Astuti Motorsport team who experienced the entire gamut of emotions in one five hour period.

Grubmuller’s #10 car was involved in an opening-lap incident at turn two with Italian Macro Mapelli, the pair colliding as the field went three and even four wide in the difficult braking zone. Both failed to finish.

Hollings race was also drama filled, making a solid start to sit in the fourth position for the first four laps of the race, until the 24-year-old was shown the Black flag for rolling at the start. Hollings completed his drive through and rejoined the track in 10th place, recovering to a strong 7th at the finish to at least secure some championship points.

A similar circumstance in the second race was further enhanced when he was turned around in turn two by another competitor – essentially forcing him to work through the field for the third time during the weekend – eventually finishing eighth.

Grubmuller posted an impressive performance, bouncing back from his race one adversity to finish the 13-lap affair in third place.

The fallout from the results leaves Walter 5th in the championship (12 points) and Charlie 8th (8 points).

“It was a very tough weekend. My seating position wasn’t quite perfect and the car rolled only very slightly at the start of the races,” explained Hollings.

”It’s really disappointing because the car was quick. It makes it hard work for the season. The team has been good, but this result is disappointing and frustrating. There isn’t much more to say than that.

“Qualifying was really good. We made some changes to the car and it responded well. After that it was just a matter of me going and finding some clear track to set a time.” He said.

“It was good to come away with a podium after that incident in the first race. I want to thank the whole team for their efforts,” Grubmuller added.

”It’s a shame we didn’t get a race win but we’ll see how we go in Melbourne.

“Astuti Motorsport has been very professional and the car has been strong. We would have liked to have won a race but it’s very competitive and the team did a fantastic job.”

Team Owner Sam Astuti said that whilst it was a character building weekend for his two-car team, there was plenty of positives to be taken from it.

“It was a very challenging race weekend, especially with one of our drivers only arriving on Tuesday and the getting him going and settled in,” Astuti said.

“We went well though even if I thought that we might have a better result overall.

The starts these days are very European – with lots of contact – and it can change anything. There’s just so much going on. It was tough for Charlie because the pedals weren’t right, because he would’ve gone well from pole. Walter did a great job to finish third in the second race which was a really good effort.

“We’ve just got to look forward to Melbourne now and fix the problems we failed at this weekend,” Said Astuti, who is a former Open Wheel racer in his own right.

“It’s not easy this year. There are a few more cars that can win races and it will be a lot tougher to win the series this year.

“Both our guys showed how strong they were in practice, qualifying and also in the races. I think we’re going to have a really strong year.” He said.

Astuti Motorsport will next be in action at the 2007 Formula 1 ™ ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Last year Astuti’s Michael Trimble smashed the existing F3 Qualifying lap record to snare Pole Position on the 5.3km Albert Park Street circuit.

If the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship awarded a prize for the biggest comeback of the season, Fleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander would be just about a lock-in for the award despite having just one round in the books.

Tander bounced back not once, but twice from adversity at Eastern Creek Raceway at the weekend to score a solid haul of championship points in the opening round of the 2007 championship.

Leanne lived up to the pre-season hype that suggested she would be a championship contender with some impressively quick performances at the 3.9km Eastern Creek circuit last weekend, and has taken confidence from the strong fashion in which she rebounded from dramas out of her control in both 13-lap races.

Leanne has left the first of eight rounds sitting fourth in the championship standings well within striking distance of the leading bunch.

The 25-year-old Melbourne based driver scored a sixth place finish in race one and a strong fourth in the second race, but the results could have been higher had she not have had to work her way from the back of the field in each race after being innocently involved in other drivers’ accidents.

In race one the #42 Fleetcare Dallara was forced off the circuit on the first lap when two other drivers collided in the run to turn two.

Avoiding damage and being stuck in the sand trap, Tander recovered behind the safety car in 15th position before cutting her way through in a storming drive to her eventual finishing position of sixth place.

In the second race Leanne was forced to run three wide on the outside of the circuit, on a lap four restart.

This incident again saw the TanderSport entry out in the dirt and relegated to seventh place. Leanne then once again drove tenaciously to pass both Marco Mapelli and race one winner Stuart Kostera to work forward to fourth position.

The two results saw 16 points credited to the TanderSport championship points balance after the first of eight rounds.

These on-track dramas came after Leanne posted a superb performance in both qualifying sessions.

The #42 car started race one third – less than one-tenth of a second behind pole, and the second race in fifth place, again less than 1/10th from the front row.

“It definitely wasn’t the result that I had in mind, but it wasn’t a complete failure like it could have been,” an upbeat Tander said following the second race.

“I’m in a positive frame of mind. It could have been much worse than it really was and we were able to make a good comeback in both races. We also showed that the car is very quick and competitive with the rest of the leading drivers this year.

”I was pretty fortunate in a couple of ways,” She added.

”When I was hit off at turn two of race one I was lucky that there wasn’t any damage and also that the Safety car came out straight away. I was able to minimize the time lost and didn’t loose a lap.

“There were a couple of times where I could have been hit by other cars but we managed to avoid any damage, catch up to the guys in front and pass a couple to score some points.”

And whilst the weekend was a strong recovery from a potentially worse situation, Leanne said that taking just 16 points from the first round of the championship was a bitter pill to swallow.

“The major downside is that even though I was able to score some points, I’m really now on the back foot as far as the championship goes,” she explained.

”Now we have to work even harder in the next few rounds to claw the margin back.”

Fleetcare TanderSport will next be in action for one of the team’s key home events – the non-championship 2007 FORMULA 1 ™ ING Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, in Melbourne.

hollings-and-kostera-take-top-spotsStuart Kostera and British driver Charlie Hollings have split the honors in one of the most intense and action-packed qualifying sessions the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship has ever seen.

Two hotly contested 20-minute sessions at Eastern Creek Raceway were contested today to determine the grids for tomorrow’s two races respectively, Kostera snaring pole in the first and Hollings the second in a thrilling session.

Team BRM / PHR Scuderia driver Kostera banked his pole lap of 1m25.550s mid-way through the first session and was then forced to withstand a barrage of cars trying to attack his time.

Tim Macrow, Leanne Tander and Charlie Hollings were his closest rivals, the four cars covered by a simply astonishing .187s in one of the tightest qualifying sessions in the series history.

Walter Grubmuller was fifth, less than three tenths from pole, and was followed by Marco Mapelli, Chris Alajajian, Mat Sofi and James Winslow – the top nine championship contending cars split by just 1.1 seconds.

But if the first session was competitive, the session that set the grid for tomorrow’s second race lifted the intensity to an entirely new level.

After banking the best lap earlier in the session Stuart Kostera was bumped down the order by a number of competitors as the session wound down.

Just moments before the checkered flag flew Mat Sofi was a surprise fast man, storming to the top of the charts by less than a tenth of a second, but he too was usurped in a thrilling thirty second period after the flag had been flown.

First it was James Winslow who went fastest – recovering from a difficult, understeer-plagued opening session – before Tim Macrow looked to have pole secured when he jumped to the top just moments after Winslow banked his time.

At this stage the top five cars were covered by less than one-tenth of a second, before Charlie Hollings blasted in a last-ditch lap to snare pole position in a stunning one-off effort.

The British driver secured his first championship pole – after only having signed with the Astuti Motorsport outfit a week ago – and will lead Macrow, Winslow, Sofi and Tander away in Race two.

“It was a bit late but we got there!” Hollings enthused.

”We had some fairly good laps before but I needed a chance to get neat and tidy laps at the end.

“We made a change from the first session and had to adjust that throughout the session. I knew there was more time in the car and in the end I was really pleased to be able to get a couple more tenths out of it at the end of the session and snatch pole position.”

“I’m really happy to get one in the bag – Seconds and thirds are nice but now I’ve got a pole which is great,” he said.

“The aim for tomorrow is a podium in the first race and a win in the second – it’s never as easy as that but some good points over the weekend will be good.”

Kostera’s up and down day – he scored a pole and an eighth place result in the two sessions, respectively – left the West Aussie philosophical yet ready for a strong result tomorrow.”

“That was as good as that car was going to go in that session,” Kostera said following qualifying two.

“The first session was really good – the car felt excellent and it was obviously right where we wanted it to be. I think we’ll be a real chance at a good result, especially in race 1.”

Mat Sofi scored his career best result in the second session today, holding pole position for the briefest of moments before being shuffled to a still-credible fourth place.