Joey Foster and Tim Macrow waged a stunning war for the race one pole position as action in the Australian Formula 3 Championship got underway at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today (Thursday).
In something akin to a western-style gunfight, the pair left their charge for the top spot until after the session itself had finished to decide the grid for Saturday's opening twelve-lap encounter that will kick off the new Gold Star year, in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.
After trading best sector times and shading Foster all session, Macrow pumped out a 1m18.645s lap after the flag had fallen – only for his rival to usurp him just seconds later.
Foster's 1m18.383s lap was the fastest ever around the Clipsal 500 circuit, and promptly gave him his first F3ADC pole position, in addition to a $200 AUD bonus thanks to sponsor Yorkshire Investments.
“That was everything I was hoping for, but Tim didn't make it easy,” Cornwall-born Foster acknowledged afterwards. “The lap was right on the limit – to the extent that I was basically brushing the walls! We were pleased to be fastest in practice as it gives you an indication of where you are in the field, but we didn't know how it (the car) would react on new tyres.
“I knew that we would have to pull something special, and that was fantastic! I'm really pleased. This place is fantastic; it's an amazing feeling to let the car move and drift around here.”
Macrow, for his part, admitted that he was pleased with the outcome given the lack of time to prepare for this weekends' race – he was only confirmed in the #25 Scud Racing entry three days ago.
“We're still getting the car better,” the Melbourne native confessed. “It was a good session overall. I didn't have any lap timing on my dashboard so it was hard to tell what I was doing, but the car went pretty well.
“The team is working really well together, and we'll make some changes to the car for tomorrow and go quicker. I'm stoked to be here – this track is amazing!”