Tim Macrow has clearly learned from the Joey Foster book of qualifying tricks.
At the Clipsal 500 this year, Foster snared a last-ditch pole position over Macrow well after the chequered flag had fallen on the second session with a perfectly timed flyer.
Today, at Oran Park Raceway, Tim Macrow returned the favour in qualifying for race 13 of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Driver's championship for the CAMS Gold Star, taking pole position number seven for the season by just overhauling Foster after the session had finished.
Later in the afternoon Mathew Sofi, who lives just five minutes from the track in Rossmore, took his first ever Formula 3 pole position in one of the closest sessions of the year.
After an early shower fell just before qualifying one, Foster had shown his superiority in greasy conditions during most of the session and held the top spot when the flag fell, but Macrow had just snuck though to begin a last-ditch flyer with one second remaining in the session.
One minute, three seconds and a few hundredths later, the #25 car jumped to the top of the charts just 0.04s faster than the his championship rival in one of the most dramatic qualifying sessions ever staged at Oran Park.
The bonus point Macrow scored also elevated him to the championship lead for the first time this season, with just this and one more round at Sandown remaining.
Later in the day Sofi took his AmPro Dallara to the best time half-way through qualifying for race 14 and then watched as almost everyone else chipped away at his best time.
Macrow came close - within 0.3s, in fact - but not close enough to deny Sofi his career first pole position.
In the closest session of the year the top five cars were covered by just 0.2s, and the top six by just 0.5s as the stage was set for a highly competitive Gold Star finale' at Oran Park.
“I'm really happy, it's a great result and nice to finally get that pole position in the bag,” Sofi said this afternoon. “The track changed a lot between sessions, it was a lot slower than the first session and we didn't change the car and went slower – but it was enough.