Love qualifies on pole at The Bend


Aaron Love. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Aaron Love will start the opening Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia race at The Bend Motorsport Park from pole.

The Practice 2 pace-setter pushed through the breezy conditions to top the timesheets with 1:50.1212s on his seventh lap in the 20-minute session.

The West Australian becomes the first repeat pole-sitter of the year, and also follows in the footsteps of his brother, 2019 Carrera Cup title winner Jordan Love, in claiming pole position at the 4.95km South Australian circuit.

Dylan O’Keeffe set a 1:50.2469s late in the session to qualify second, while championship contender David Wall posted a 1:50.2916s to seal a third place start for Race 1.

Earl Bamber Motorsport driver Callum Hedge, who took his first round win at the previous round in Townsville, will start on the second row of the grid, with the Practice 1 session leader posting a 1:50.3319s to lap fourth-fastest.

VCM Performance’s Christian Pancione (1:50.4052) and EMA Motorsport’s David Russell will share the third row of the grid, while TekworkX Motorsport team-mates Max Vidau (1:50.5042s) and Luke Youlden (1:50.5913s) will start on the fourth row of the grid.

Current points leader Harri Jones, who was top of the timesheets prior to drivers pitting for a fresh set of Michelin tyres for a second run, would eventually finish the session ninth with a 1:50.6431s while Ryan Suhle, on a 1:50.7050s, wrapped up the top 10.

Liam Talbot was quickest in the Pro-Am class, followed by class points leader Geoff Emery and Adrian Flack, who was the fastest of the Pro-Am field in both practice sessions.

During the session, the carbon fibre wing of Pro-Am competitor Michael Almond’s PSA  Group entry broke off, as he pulled into the braking zone for Turn 1.

The inaugural round winner at The Bend in 2018 would go on to set a personal best sector with the broken wing, before he was called into pit lane by officials.

Race 1 for Carrera Cup this weekend will start at 15:05 local time/15:35 AEST.

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