Leanne Tander has secured her place in Austrlian open wheel racing history after claiming pole position for the final round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula Three Championship at Oran Park.

Tander topped the times in the opening qualifying session for race one to edge out Tim Macrow for top spot, although he would bounce back in the second session to take top spot in the grid for race two.

However it was Tander's performance that wrote the headlines, as she became the first ever female driver to score a pole position in the 50-year history of the Australian drivers' championship as well as the eight-year history of Formula Three racing in Australia.

"I'm very happy with it," she said, having also qualified on the second row for race two. "The track is much slower than when we tested here but we got the car right. I ended up timing it right and getting that one lap in at the end of the session to get ahead of Tim.

"We just couldn't get a time out of it in the second session though. It's disappointing because two poles would have been much better than just one, but I'll take it!"

Macrow was pleased with his day's efforts, once again rewarding his team for their hard work after being forced to change cars mid-season.

"The car is unbelievably good," he said. "I've found that you have to drive it a bit like a Formula Ford around here, it seems to be the fast way around. It's a bit hairy at times but it's a load of fun. The car is great and I have to thank Gary and my crew for another great effort."

Continually improving, Queenslander Chris Gilmour was second fastest in the afternoon's session, once again closing the gap and securing himself an all-important front row start for race two.

Chris Alajajian, Stuart Kostera, Matt Sofi and Daniel Pappas all moved closer to the outright pace, each driver feeling confident about their chances tomorrow.

"The car was much better in second qualifying," said Alajajian, who was third fastest in Q2 after setting fourth fastest time this morning - an improvement of over six-tenths.

"I'm coming to grips with the car with the more laps," agreed Pappas, who makes his return to an F3 car for the first time in 18 months this weekend. "The car is very good and I'm relearning how to drive it. I'm certainly much quicker and happier with the second session than the first and I know we've got a good racecar."

After a season of racing Porsche's, Pappas qualified seventh and sixth respectively.

A standout performance came from Tim Berryman, who not only topped the Kumho Tyres National Class today but mixed it with some of the leading Championship class runners in the second session.

After scoring eighth in qualifying one, Berryman improved by almost a second in qualifying two to place seventh - less than 1.5s from pole.

Chris Barry - who survived a spin into the turn one sand - and John Boothman completed the National Class top three in each session today.

Graeme Holmes took a pair of Trophy Class pole positions home today and closed the margin by two points to Lauren Gray - who was fourth in class - in the battle for the class title.