Former Socceroo and World Cup star, Brett Emerton, has scored pole position for the first race of the Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge at the Australian Grand Prix.
Australia’s three-times Tour de France green jersey winner, Robbie McEwen, will share the front row alongside Emerton, with English adventurer Charley Boorman finishing third in today’s qualifying session at Albert Park.
“Pole position feels good, now I just need to try and shut out Robbie (McEwen) because I’m sure he will be hot on my heels,” said Emerton.
“The more you drive around the track the more you get to know it and the faster your lap times. It was a lot of fun out there, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
The grid of 20 celebs completed two practice sessions prior to qualifying after a week of driver training under the guidance of Mark Skaife at Sandown.
The fastest female on the track was Winter Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila, who placed sixth overall. Like Boorman, Lassila started the event off cautiously, building up speed from session to session, while Emerton and McEwen have been the ones to watch from the get go.
“I was still making mistakes this morning, but this afternoon I figured out the flow and got some good things happening. There’s still room for improvement which is great but I’ve put myself in a good position, which is good,” Lassila.
“My speed has been improving; trying to learn everything at once can be an overload, so I’ve been trying to build on every day and learn something new. I’ve also been watched what the F1 drivers do and then try to copy it. I’m really enjoying this.”
The Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge continues tomorrow with the first of two five lap races, followed by a second and final race on Sunday.
For further information on the Mazda3 Celebrity Challenge drivers go to mazda.com.au
1 Brett Emerton
2 Robbie McEwen
3 Charley Boorman
4 Rob Mills
5 Tim Robards
6 Lydia Lassila
7 Tommy Little
8 Torah Bright
9 Rachael Finch
10 Clint Stanaway
11 Scherri-Lee Biggs
12 Lauren Phillips
13 Sam Mac
14 Dave Thornton
15 Megan Washington
16 Catriona Rowntree
17 Maz Compton
18 Adam D’Sylva
19 Nathan Brown
#See below for the comprehensive Speedcafe.com guide to the Australian Grand Prix