Emery and Van der Linde claim Clipsal pole

Jamec Pem Audi drivers Geoff Emery and Kelvin van der Linde will start from pole position ahead of tomorrow’s opening CAMS Australian GT Championship race.

The pair claimed the top spot in the first of two 20-minute qualifying sessions, 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 under way.

“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.”

“Kelvin did an awesome job out there,” added Emery. “I jumped in and tried to settle in for the second session in and get my head around it.  “I just built on my times and it just started coming with me.”

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.

Stable-mates 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, 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 (March 3) tomorrow morning.

Races on Saturday and Sunday will follow, with all events broadcast live on Fox Sports, channel 506.   

Qualifying Results

1 Valvoline K.van der Linde/G.Emery Audi R8 LMS 1:20.452

2 Supabarn Supermarkets J.Koundouris/A.Walsh Audi R8 LMS 1:20.804

3 GT Motorsport G.Taylor/N.Antunes Audi R8 LMS 1:21.074

4 Tekno Autosports Come Ledogar (FRA) McLaren 650S GT3 1:21.190

5 Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport J.Manolios/D.Canto Lamborghini Huracan 1:21.442

6 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/C.Baird Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:21.454

7 JBS Australia Roger Lago (Qld) Lamborghini R-EX 1:21.460

8 Bank SA B.Griguol/T.Macrow Lamborghini R-EX 1:21.561

9 Moveitnet/AFS Tony Bates (VIC) Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:21.914

10 PM Motorsport Peter Major (WA) Lamborghini R-EX 1:21.934

11 BMW Team SRM S.Richards/J.Bergmuller BMW M6 GT3 1:22.073

12 Mega Racing Liam Talbot (Qld) Porsche 911 GT3-R 1:22.282

13 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/G.Wood Lamborghini R-EX 1:22.506

14 HHH Triffid Racing M.Hovey/D.Jilesen Lamborghini R-EX 1:22.833

15 Ah Apartments Ash Samadi (VIC) Audi R8 LMS 1:22.932

16 Valvoline Steven McLaughlan (Vic) Audi R8 LMS 1:23.089

17 Objective Racing Tony Walls (NSW) McLaren 650S GT3 1:23.185

18 Hogs Breath Cafe/Griffith Co Mark Griffith (Qld) Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:23.628

19 Australian Engineered Flooring Max Twigg (Vic) Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:23.737

20 Hallmarc Constructions Marc Cini (Vic) Audi R8 LMS 1:24.057

21 Hungry Jacks Tim Miles (NSW) Lamborghini R-EX 1:24.280

22 Darrell Lea Tony Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650s GT3 1:24.668

23 AMAC Motorsport Andrew MacPherson (NSW) Porsche 997 GT3-R 1:27.010

24 The Bend Motorsport Park Yasser Shahin (SA) Lamborghini R-EX 1:27.240

25 Veloce Motorsport – ULX110 Keith Wong (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:28.065

26 Shoal/Thomson Geer Lawyers Michael O’Donnell (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup 1:28.523