RYAN WOOD has scored a stunning pole position in qualifying for Round 3 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series, setting the fastest time in a wet-weather shootout at the end of qualifying today.
Persistent rain saw the entire field running on Michelin’s wet weather tyre at the end of qualifying, times dropping consistently despite the increasingly wet conditions.
In a rapidly evolving session, a series of flyers saw Wood’s 1m17.4840s best be just enough for pole position.
Wood, driving for Team Porsche New Zealand / Earl Bamber Motorsport, won the opening two races and first round of the championship in Sydney earlier this year but trails Thomas Sargent in the series, following a runner-up finish in Queensland last time out.
A late flyer from rookie Aron Shields saw him leap to second, just 0.4s behind Wood.
The Sydney driver hustled his McElrea Racing Porsche hard at the end of qualifying and jumped to the front row on his 10th and final lap of the session to record his best-ever starting position.
Courtney Prince topped the session for some time before the rush of quick laps dropped her to third by the end of the 20-minutes, while championship leader and Round 2 winner Thomas Sargent was fourth.
He’ll line up directly behind nearest title rival Wood in tomorrow’s opening race.
Four different teams are represented on the first two rows of the grid for race one on Saturday.
Lachlan Bloxsom and Tom McLennan comprise the third row of the grid for race one tomorrow, with Harrison Goodman a strong seventh.
In Pro-Am, Daniel Stuttered’s return to one-make Porsche racing saw him edge out class championship leader Sam Shahin by just 0.1 seconds to score pole.
Brett Boulton was third in class, a further 0.1 seconds behind and lines up directly behind his two class rivals in 10th outright.
Jacob Li scored pole in Class B ahead of Nathan Sticklen and Lachlan Harburg, just 0.1 seconds between the top two in the class.
Earlier in Practice, Sargent edged out Ryan Wood by just 0.04s across a pair of 30-minute sessions, held in dry conditions on Friday morning.
Lachlan Bloxhom was third with Sam Shahin fourth outright and first of the Morris Pro-Am runners.
Aron Shields was fifth with Courtney Prince, Jason Miller, Tom McLennan, Danny Stuttered and Christian Fitzgerald rounding out the top-10.
Jacob Li headed the Class B field over Jonathan Glicksten.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia will race twice on Saturday, with both sprint races to be broadcast live on Stan Sport.
Sunday’s Jim Richards Enduro Trophy race completes the third round of the series.
Ryan Wood, Pro, “It was my first time driving a Porsche without ABS at the this track this weekend in the wet so pretty happy to be honest. Its very good, happy with where we ended up, still a little gutted that we didn’t get a clean lap in but it’s the same for everyone. We’ll take the positives away, have a look at the data tonight and lets claw back this points deficit.”
Daniel Stutterd, Morris Pro-Am, “It was just a matter of finding where the limits were and we got it right there, tried staying off kerbs and feeding the throttle. I can’t complain it was a really nice session. I haven’t been in the rain for years and the car felt awesome, the TekworkX guys have done an awesome job. I’m really loving my racing this weekend, having a ball and the whole experience is exceeding expectations to be honest. I thought to come here after a few years it would take a bit to blow the cobwebs off, but I’m right here and I’m feeling ok.”
Jacob Li, Class B, “Its not too bad, its actually my first time driving in wet conditions at Sandown, so I was surprised to get P1 (in Class B), so I’m looking forward to the races. Hopefully it doesn’t rain, otherwise I’ll just need to try harder.”