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Baird and Koundouris set pace in Gold Coast qualifyingPorsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia, Round 6, Qualifying, Friday


After victory at Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia’s last round at Bathurst, both Craig Baird and Elite Class ace James Koundouris have continued their fine form, setting the pace in Gold Coast qualifying.

In an intense qualifying session, Baird snared the quickest time on his final lap, securing pole position by 0.0246 seconds over fellow New Zealander Jonny Reid.

Alex Davison will start tomorrow’s Race 1 from third on the grid from Steven Richards, Nick Foster, Daniel Gaunt, Andre Heimgartner and first-time Carrera Cup competitor Shae Davies in eighth.

With a 114 point championship lead over Davison, Baird is now looking to replicate his form at the 2.96 km Surfers Paradise circuit from last year, where the reigning champion won all three Carrera Cup races.

“There are plenty of guys at the sharp end of the field and I really wanted pole position here. Having the championship lead, it’s the safest place to start from,” said Baird.

“We know we’ve got a good car, we’ve been pretty consistent over the past few rounds and I’ve now just got to stay out of trouble.”

Leading Elite Class qualifier James Koundouris, who will start ninth in tomorrow’s opening race, was pleased with his Friday pace and is eager to further improve in Saturday’s races.

“I’m very happy with that result, though I’m a little bit disappointed I didn’t match my time from last year,” said Koundouris.

“I’m confident for tomorrow. This place can be very cruel sometimes; you can be minding your own business and can come unstruck due to someone else’s mistake. The objective here will be to keep the car straight and finish all three races.”

Koundouris qualified ahead of Shane Smollen, Tony Bates, Max Twigg, Marc Cini, Ray Angus, Michael Loccisano, Paul Kelly, Stephen Grove and newcomer to the championship, Morgan Mutch.

Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia will hold two races on Saturday, with its final race of the weekend on Sunday.

19/10/2012