Audi star Bonanomi scores Australian GT pole

Marco Bonanomi starred on his Australian GT debut

Marco Bonanomi starred on his Australian GT debut

Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi showed his class as he scored pole position for Jemec Pem Racing on his Australian GT Championship debut at Barbagallo Raceway.

The Italian star quickly adapted to the Western Australian circuit having topped practice prior to his run in the first of two 20 minute qualifying sessions.

Called up by Jemec Pem Racing as a replacement for reigning champion Christopher Mies, Bonanomi posted a last gasp 57.88s effort on a drying track to score pole in the Audi R8 GT3.

Racing alongside Geoff Emery, who took part in second session, the pair claimed the third consecutive pole for the entry this season.

Heavy rain ahead of Qualifying 2 ultimately saw the times posted in the earlier session set the grid for Satruday’s opening race.

The Audi of Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer emerged as Bonanomi’s nearest rival with the latter posting a time 0.8s adrift of the works Audi driver.

Justin McMillan and Glen Wood’s Lamborghini was third fastest ahead of the McLaren 650S of Klark Quinn and the Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S entry of Jonathon Webb and Matt Kingsley.

The Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 will start from sixth courtesy of Craig Baird’s effort in opening qualifying.

Championship leaders James Koudnouris and Marcus Marshall were seventh just in front of the Nathan Antunes/Elliot Barbour Tekno Autosports McLaren.

Reigning V8 Utes Racing Series champion Ryal Harris piloted the Erebus Motorsport SLS GT3 to ninth on his championship debut, as Dean Canto completed the top 10 in the Taplin Real Estate Lamborghini.

Canto was the only driver to improve in the treacherous conditions which greeted drivers for Qualifying 2.

The Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R will start from 11th on its Australian GT Championship debut.

Aaron Tebb, who will join John Martin for the round, posted the time in Qualifying 1.

The first of two 60 minute races this weekend is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 1215 local time.

Meanwhile, in the Historic Touring Cars support category, the Ford Mustang of Darryl Hansen claimed pole position with a 0.2s margin Bill Meeke’s Ford Falcon.

The second row of the grid will be shared by John Bondi (Holden Monaro) and Will Colton (Ford Falcon XY).

Result: Australian GT Championship Qualifying, Perth

1 JAMEC PEM Racing M.Bonanomi/G.Emery Audi R8 LMS 0:57.8854*
2 Adina Apartment Hotels G.Taylor/B.Mawer Audi R8 LMS 0:58.7081 00.8227
3 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/G.Wood Lamborghini R-EX 0:59.2190 01.3336
4 Darrell Lea Klark Quinn (QLD) McLaren 650S GT3 0:59.2290 01.3436
5 McLaren Melbourne J.Webb/M.Kingsley McLaren 650S GT3 0:59.4892 01.6038
6 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/C.Baird Mercedes Benz AMG GT 0:59.5806 01.6952
7 Supabarn Supermarkets J.Koundouris/M.Marshall Audi R8 LMS 0:59.6089 01.7235
8 Beechwood / SLR / Buildmap N.Antunes/E.Barbour McLaren 650S GT3 0:59.8090 01.9236
9 Exotic Track Days R.Harris/S.Hookey Mercedes AMG GT3 SLS 1:00.3521 02.4667
10 Taplin Real Estate A.Taplin/D.Canto Lamborghini Gallardo 1:00.3945 02.5091
11 Walkinshaw GT3 J.Martin/A.Tebb Porsche 911 GT3-R 1:00.7799 02.8945
12 SR Motorsport S.Richards/M.Twigg BMW M6 GT3 1:00.9243 03.0389
13 JBS Australia Roger Lago (QLD) Lamborghini R-EX 1:00.9678 03.0824
14 DPO Nathan Morcom McLaren 650S GT3 1:00.9893 03.1039
15 JAMEC PEM Racing Steve McLaughlan (VIC) Audi R8 LMS 1:00.9957 03.1103
16 Modena Engineering Ricky Capo (VIC) BMW Z4 GT3 1:01.0731 03.1877
17 Objective Racing Tony Walls (QLD) McLaren 650S GT3 1:01.7367 03.8513
18 Darrell Lea Tony Quinn (QLD) Aston Martin Vantage 1:02.0190 04.1336
19 Performance West Peter Rullo (WA) Lamborghini Gallardo 1:02.0554 04.1700
20 Bondi Wholefoods Ash Samadi (VIC) Mercedes Benz AMG SL 1:03.9908 06.1054

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