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Van der Linde Scores Adelaide Pole for Jamec Pem
- Updated: March 2, 2017
Jamec Pem Audi drivers Geoff Emery and Kelvin van der Linde will start from pole position ahead of Friday’s opening CAMS Australian GT Championship race at Adelaide.
The pair claimed the top spot in the first of two 20-minute qualifying sessions, with van der Linde stopping the clock with a 1:20.452s.
That marker then stood the test of time in the second session, backing up the pace the car had shown in opening practice and laying down a gauntlet to the rest of the field as the weekend gets underway.
“We were hoping to qualify in the top five in practice one, the car went really well,” van der Linde said. “The car felt really good straight out the box.
“In Qualifying 1 I had clear track, I was able to get in a good rhythm and in the end it was enough. I’m really proud of the Jamec Pem team. I only met them two days ago but everything has just gelled.”
Audi locked out the front row courtesy of Ash Walsh and James Koundouris, who recorded the second fastest time in the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi R8 LMS.
Teammates Greg Taylor and Nathan Antunes, who share the GT Motorsports entry, will start third.
Fraser Ross and Come Ledogar marked the first non-Audi entry, with the Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 setting a best time of 1:21.190 in the second session.
Driving solo, Roger Lago improved his time in second qualifying aboard the JBS Australia entry, ending the 20-minute session fastest.
Hustling the car around the Adelaide Parklands circuit, Lago’s effort of 1:21.460 ultimately proved good enough for seventh on the grid for the first race of the season.
A spin from Tony Quinn in the opening practice session saw the Darrell Lea entry miss the opening qualifying session, though the team had the McLaren 650S GT3 back on track for Qualifying 2.
Local driver Yasser Shahin became the first victim of the unforgiving street circuit, damaging the rear suspension on The Bend Motorsport Complex entry and forcing the Lamborghini R-EX out of the weekend.
It proved an eventful day, the dusty circuit also catching out Dean Canto, who escaped a wild moment at the first chicane.
Bouncing the Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport entry over the kerbs, Canto did well to keep the Lamborghini Huracan away from the imposing walls en route to fifth place on the grid for he and co-driver Jim Manolios.
Pole position on the 25-car grid, courtesy of van der Linde and Emery, sees Audi extend its string of pole positions.
Beginning at the final round of the 2015 season, it stands as the longest run of consecutive pole positions in the Australian GT Championship history.
The first of the weekend’s three 40-minute CAMS Australian GT Championship races gets underway at 10:55 a.m. local time on Friday.