OSCAR TARGETT has become the first repeat pole sitter of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia season, edging Marco Giltrap for the top spot in qualifying today at Shell V-Power Motorsport Park in South Australia.
The pair traded blows at the top of the times in the 20-minute qualifying session with Targett on top early, before Giltrap responded with less than three minutes remaining to go to the top spot.
RESULTS: Qualifying, Round 5
The series’ leader didn’t remain on top for long, however, with Targett’s final flyer returning the Grove Group-supported car back to the top with his 1m50.4916s flyer.
It means the teenager edged Giltrap by 0.0488 seconds, the fourth consecutive round where the pole has been decided by less than 0.05 seconds.
It also ended a series-record streak of four different polesitters from four rounds, Targett backing up his debut pole effort in Queensland at the last round.
With the series leader second, Sonic’s Marcos Flack was third and just 0.3 seconds from pole position.
The in-form Hamish Fitzsimmons was fourth for TekworkX Motorsport, just pipping Zac Stichbury to the second row of the grid.
The Whittaker’s driver will line up fifth alongside Lachlan Bloxsom for race one on Saturday.
Ronan Murphy qualified seventh in his Muscle Car Warehouse-backed Sonic entry with rookie Clay Osborne eighth aboard his McElrea Racing #15 car.
The Kiwi first-timer had been impressive throughout practice earlier in the day and continued that form in his first Porsche qualifying session, ending the 20-minutes just 0.71s from pole.
Harrison Goodman qualified ninth and Aron Shields 10th, with Tom McLennan just missing the top-10.
Notable among those missing the top-10 was Nash Morris, who has won five of the last six races in the championship.
Stricken down by the Flu, Morris missed both practice sessions earlier on Friday meaning his first laps of The Bend in a Porsche were in qualifying trim.
He did enough to qualify 17th outright with a view to moving forward in tomorrow’s pair of sprint races.
Sam Shahin qualified his car on pole in the Pro-Am class and will also line up 12th outright in race one tomorrow.
He bested the returning Brett Boulton for the top spot with Matt Slavin third, South Aussie racer Pan Boyaci fourth and David Grieg fifth in class.
Meanwhile, a thrilled Lachy Harburg made it two EBM Poles in three classes today by topping the largest Class B grid of the year to date.
Harburg not only scored pole but out qualified all bar two of the key Pro-Am contenders in an outstanding performance that saw him lap nearly three seconds quicker than he did in 2022.
Brad Carr qualified second in class – and 18th outright – with newcomer Jacque Jarjo third in class and 22nd outright.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field returns to the circuit tomorrow for a pair of 20-minute sprint races at The Bend.
The 45-minute Jim Richards Enduro Championship finale will be held on Sunday, and will be shown on 7plus.