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Percat and Koundouris quickest in Albert Park qualifyingPorsche Carrera Cup Australia: Round 2, Qualifying, Thursday


Porsche Carrera Cup Australia rookie Nick Percat has taken his second consecutive pole position of 2013 at Albert Park, while Elite Class pace-setter James Koundouris has secured a top-10 starting spot for Friday’s opening race.

Percat, who secured pole position at the season opening Clipsal 500 two weeks earlier, dominated the qualifying session, posting the quickest time of 1:58.6330, three-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival, Steven Richards.

Starting behind the Bathurst 1000 winning duo in the opening race will be regular front-runner Craig Baird, who secured his 50 Carrera Cup Australia race win at the last round in Adelaide, from Warren Luff, Shae Davies, Matt Kingsley, Karl Reindler and Steven Johnson in ninth.

In only his second round of Carrera Cup competition, Percat was surprised by his qualifying form at the South Australian’s ‘local’ round.

“I can’t believe this, to be honest. This is a track where I have very little experience; I’ve been here once before in a Formula Ford with great success, but to be quickest this morning and back it up with pole position by a good margin this afternoon is unbelievable,” said Percat.

“I couldn’t be happier; this is my second home round as I only live five minutes away from the track. I’ve got the speed, now I’ve got to get my first win in the category and get the championship chase rolling along a bit quicker.”

In tenth position was Elite Class pace-setter James Koundouris from class points leader Max Twigg, Damien Flack, Shane Smollen, Tony Bates, James Bergmuller and Michael Loccisano in 16th.

Koundouris was pleased with his performance and the ability of his team to push him further up the timesheets.

“I’m happy with our pace today. The team made some changes after the practice session and put the car in the right direction,” said Koundouris.

“Whatever changes were made were excellent. I also have Steve Owen here this weekend to give me some driver coaching, which is helping me along as well. It was good to get the Elite Class pole position and I think there is a bit more pace to get out of the car yet.”

Duvashen Padayachee qualified in 17th ahead of Paul Kelly in his first Carrera Cup appearance for the season, from Marc Cini, Tony Walls and Renee Gracie in 22nd.

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its first race of the event on Friday at 6:20pm, followed by one race on Saturday and Sunday.

14/3/2013