From Pirouette to Pole Position

He may have scared onlookers with a 231km/h spin at Adelaide’s notorious Turn 8, but Tony Bates still did enough in today’s qualifying session to claim pole position for Race 1 of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup.

After the third and final practice session this morning, Bates declared himself satisfied with the balance of his KFC/Moveitnet/Local Roadways/AFS/Bryant & Bryant Audi R8.

“We only got a few laps because the session was red-flagged, but I felt really confident in the car, and I knew it was going to be a strong package for qualifying,” Bates said.

In the qualifying session, Bates punched out a 1:21.5 lap, taking pole position by almost half a second, before his heart-stopping 480-degree rotation at Turn 8.

“The car felt awesome, and I had just done my fastest lap; I thought there was more in it, but I just lost the rear end at Turn 8,” Bates said.

“Normally, moments in that corner don’t end well, but I only brushed the wall very lightly with the back of the car, so it was a lucky escape. The biggest issue now will be tyres – those ones are quite badly flat-spotted and we only get a limited number of sets for the weekend.

“Overall, I’m stoked – in practice, the times were really close, so to come out and take pole by that margin is very satisfying.”

Tomorrow will consist of a second qualifying session at 9:55am local time (which sets the starting order for Race 2 on Sunday) and Race 1, which will be held at 1:20pm local time – both sessions will be live on FOX Sports 506.