Kiwi racer Daniel Gaunt is confident ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session for the third round of Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia after setting the pace in Friday practice at Barbagallo Raceway.
Gaunt, who sits third in the championship standings, posted the quickest lap time in the opening practice session at the 2.41 km West Australian circuit.
Set in dry conditions, Gaunt’s quickest lap time of 57.75 seconds was a mere 0.06secs quicker than second fastest driver Alex Davison, with reigning champion Craig Baird a further 0.02secs behind.
Nick Foster, Steven Richards and Jonny Reid posted the fourth, fifth and sixth quickest time respectively for the opening practice session, followed by Elite Class competitor Tony Bates.
Gaunt then recorded the fifth quickest lap time in the second practice session, however the wet weather conditions later in the day meant that the earlier session was the scene of the day’s fastest lap times.
“Overall I’m really happy with the day after posting the fastest lap in the first session, and learnt a lot in the second session in the wet,” said Gaunt.
“It’s a really short lap at Barbagallo Raceway and it’s always going to be very close in qualifying. Hopefully it remains dry for qualifying tomorrow but we’ll just deal with whatever weather conditions come. We know that whatever the condition tomorrow – wet or dry – we’ll have a competitive car for it.”
Davison was the quickest driver in the second practice session in wet conditions, trailed by Baird, Richards, Reid, Gaunt and Elite Class front-runner James Koundouris.
In the Elite Class, Bates enters Saturday as the fastest driver around the Perth circuit and is enjoying the championship’s first visit to a permanent in 2012 after the opening two street circuit events in Adelaide and Albert Park.
“I’ve been driving within myself at the first two rounds of the year so it’s great to get to a permanent circuit here in Perth,” said Bates.
“Having started the year on two street circuits, I haven’t wanted to do anything silly. I came here this weekend with all the intentions of winning the round in the Elite Class and try to get on the back of the Professional Class drivers. I’m confident we’ll have a good weekend.”