An elated Tony Bates has described his lap in this morning’s first Audi R8 LMS Cup qualifying session as the most committed of his entire career, after securing pole position with a scorching 1:21.2 time around the Adelaide street circuit.
Parked in the pits whilst atop the timesheets late in the session, Bates’ Melbourne Performance Centre team elected to send the Moveitnet/C-Tech Laser/KFC Audi out onto the track in case a threat emerged.
When Theo Koundouris eclipsed Bates’ best time, the former Carrera Cup Pro-Am Champion was left with just a couple of minutes to respond… and respond he did.
“My engineer came on the radio and told me I needed to improve by a tenth, and I was able to string together the most committed lap I’ve ever done,” Bates said.
“I was on the limit of adhesion through Turn 8, and right on the braking threshold in every corner.”
In the second qualifying session, which set the grid for Race 2, Bates finished second, just 0.07s off pole.
“The track conditions were hotter in the second session and I was managing some understeer through Turn 8, which gave me a couple of scary moments!” he said.
“It was excellent to secure front-row starts for both races. Qualifying has been my achilles heel in the past, but not today – I’d say it was the best day of qualifying I’ve ever had.
“Heading into the half-hour races tomorrow and Sunday, it’s all about consistent pace over a longer distance, and while I think we’re strong in that regard, I know the likes of the Koundouris brothers, Yasser Shahin will be as well, which should make it exciting to watch,” Bates concluded.
Race 1 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup will be live on FOX Sports 506 at 2:05pm tomorrow.