Zagame Autosport’s Ryan Suhle has edged out Team BRM’s Liam Lawson in a thrilling qualifying session for Round Four of the 2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship today at Phillip Island.
It’s the second pole position for the CAMS Foundation Rising Star, with Suhle recording his inaugural pole in Round Two at Sandown. With today’s pole position, Suhle takes home a $500 flight credit voucher courtesy of Virgin Australia.
“Super happy with that, another pole position, it’s awesome!” Suhle enthused.
“We had great car pace… by a fair margin racing wise. I’m really looking forward to racing here because it’s quite an incredible track with a lot of slipstreaming.
“If the rain comes [tomorrow], it’s going to be a new experience. This track’s pretty crazy in the rain, it’s very high speed and a big learning curve – which is good!”
Championship leader Lawson narrowly missed out on the $500 Virgin Australia qualifying prize by just 0.0616 seconds over Suhle.
“It’s very, very close! I think with the long straights, drafting is going to become a huge factor in tomorrow and Sunday’s races,” Lawson said.
“I’m really stoked with that, we’ve been running third or fourth all weekend. To push through for the front row today is really good, so I’m looking forward for the races tomorrow.”
Josh Denton was not far off pole position either, almost 0.02 seconds off Lawson and 0.08 off Suhle’s pole time. The South Australian will start from the second row in third.
“It was a lot different to practice, obviously with new tyres,” Denton said.
“The car felt amazing throughout the whole qualifying. I probably should have pitted a couple of laps earlier to get that extra gain that we made afterwards.
“I managed to pull off a decent lap, we’ll push on to Race One, Race Two and Race Three and we’ll see how that goes.”
Round Three winner Cameron Shields will start alongside his fellow Team BRM teammate Denton in fourth, but is encouraged by the overtaking opportunities around the circuit for tomorrow’s two races.
“Certainly this track here seems to be like a track that you can pass on quite easily,” Shields said.
“Tomorrow, racing is going to be a lot different game and I think we should be in for a good shot.”
“At this stage I think we’re looking good in wet and dry conditions. I think if it does decide to rain, it will split the field up even more…I don’t really mind if it’s wet or dry!”
Aaron Love, Suhle’s nearest Burson Auto Parts Rookie title rival, was pleased with fifth place in his first visit to Phillip Island – which is universally admired by the entire Formula 4 grid.
“Qualifying was good. I’ve got a bit of pace out of the car. Learned a bit about the track, especially for tomorrow because we’re going to have good tyres and the track’s going to be pretty grippy,” Love said.
“Come Sunday it might be raining, so it could be pretty interesting because as far as I know, nobody has really driven a Formula 4 around here in the wet. Should be good racing off the third row, and very excited for it!”
Zagame Autosport’s Tyler Everingham will be eager to repeat his podium performances from the previous round at Barbagallo, as he starts alongside Love on the third row in sixth.
Making his Australian Formula 4 and circuit racing debut in 2016, Simon Fallon will also be eager to put his experience of the circuit to good use from seventh.
The CAMS Foundation Rising Star will start alongside 8th placed Nick Rowe, who struggled in qualifying despite posting top-two times throughout practice.
AGI Sport teammates Sage Murdoch and Zak Best round out the top ten, with Phillip Island debutants Jordan Mazzaroli and Zane Morse rounding out the final remaining two places.
Race One for the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will commence from 11:35am AEST, with live timing available on the formula4.com.au website. Saturday’s Race Two will also take place at 4:15pm
Live streaming will be available on Sunday as part of the Shannons Nationals coverage, available from motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au and formula4.com.au
1st: Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport – 1:33.5757
2nd: Liam Lawson – Team BRM +0.0616
3rd: Josh Denton – Team BRM +0.0851
4th: Cameron Shields – Team BRM +0.2963
5th: Aaron Love – Team BRM +0.3684
6th: Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport +0.3889
7th: Simon Fallon – Team BRM +0.6283
8th: Nick Rowe – AGI Sport +0.8993
9th: Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport +1.1850
10th: Zak Best – AGI Sport +1.2832
11th: Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD +1.4799
12th: Zane Morse – Team BRM +4.3091