Missing the second round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship certainly hasn't slowed Mitch Evans down.
The 15-year-old New Zealander has this morning crushed a strong field at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria to take his second Meguiar's F3
pole award by just over eight-tenths of a second. Evans also took pole at Wakefield Park earlier this year – a round he went on to dominate and win all three races.
In perfect, sunny conditions, Evans led a group of six cars to progress to the Meguiar's 'Quick Six' and backed up his practice pace with a sub-record, 1m26.8243s lap to take the top spot.
The #4 Team BRM car was eight-tenths quicker than championship leader Tom Tweedie, who was just 0.1 ahead of an impressive Chris Gilmour and Ben Crighton's TanderSport entry.
“We knew we had the pace in practice and we were able to get a clear run and get the lap in – it's really good!” Evans said.
“I'm a bit surprised at the margin – it's a big gap – and I think it will be a bit closer in the race but it's good to be back and be on pole!”
Second-placed Tom Tweedie was pleased with his performance – but perhaps not as delighted as Chris Gilmour was with third.
In just his third session behind the wheel of the Gilmour Racing squad's new F307, Chris was competitive throughout the opening stages of Qualifying and progressed to the Meguiar's Quick six with little hassle. He then jumped to third with a last-ditch lap that bumped Crighton to fourth.
“It's really good, we're pleased with the pace of the car and how we're coming to grips with the car and getting it up to speed,” he said.
“I'm looking forward to pulling off one of my customary good starts and getting up there on the run into turn one. We've got the pace for a podium at least so it should be pretty interesting, I think.”
Kristian Lindbom was fifth, but philosophical about his chances for the weekend after an off at the start of the Meguiar's Quick Six left him buried in the sand trap at Siberia.
Ben Barker progressed to the shootout but failed to bank a lap after his car suffered a broken exhaust just after leaving pit lane.
Missing out on the Quick Six was Tom Drewer, Graeme Holmes, Zhang Shan Qi and Roman Krumins – who is on track after missing practice yesterday.
Race one will take place this afternoon and will be contested over ten laps of the 4.46km GP circuit.
Race one's finishing order sets the grid for race two tomorrow, whilst a combined point score of the two sets the grid for the longer, 18-lap finale in the afternoon.