Phillip Island GT: Eggleston Mercedes takes pole

Dominic Storey and Peter Hackett combined to put the #63 Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes on pole for the opening round of the Australian Endurance Championship at Phillip Island.

Phillip Island GT: Eggleston Mercedes takes pole

Storey ran the car in the first of the two 20-minute sessions, going fastest midway through with a 1m27.315s before the time was shuffled down to fourth by the end.

Hackett then finished the job in the second session, going top by over a second with a 1m28.788s halfway through before improving to a 1m28.387s in the closing minutes to secure pole based on average combined time.

“Pole position doesn't really matter over the course of a 500-kilometre race, but it does give us confidence for tomorrow that Peter is the fastest of his group and has the speed advantage on them, while I am up with the top professionals,” said Storey.

“So it does mean something in some respect. “

It was the amateur session that dictated how the top part of the grid shook out, with Liam Talbot’s 1m28.714s shifting the #911 Walkinshaw Porsche up to second after John Martin was sixth quickest in the first session.

The gap between the top two on average times 0.208s.

Geoff Emery and Garth Tander made gains in the second session as well, the Valvoline Audi improving from fifth after Tander’s session to third after Emery took over.

That bumped the JBS Lamborghini back to fourth, despite David Russell setting the fastest time of either session in Q1 before Roger Lago took over.

Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto were next in the STM Mercedes, ahead of Jaxon Evans and Tim Miles in the second Valvoline Audi.

Ash Samadi and Chris Pither put their Audi seventh on the grid, while Steve Richards and James Bergmuller were the best-placed BMW crew in eighth.

Glen Wood and Peter Major finished up ninth, with the Bathurst 12 Hour-winning Ferrari 488 rounding out the Top 10 for Peter Edwards and Greame Smyth.

Interestingly the pole-sitting Mercedes is one of the few cars in the field that hasn't been using 'tyre tents' so far this weekend to pre-heat the Pirelli rubber.

The team is now investigating whether it can pull together the funds needed for a heating oven tonight before tomorrow's 500-kay race. 

“We are looking for a solution tonight,” added Hackett. “We need 20 grand and we have 24 hours to find it. It would be better to have them, so we are trying to find a solution.

“It is not essential for the race but it will help. If you can be on the pace a lap earlier and not lose 10-15 seconds then its is worth it.”

 

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