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Brad Hodge scores pole position for opening race of Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge

Former Australian Test Cricketer Brad Hodge has taken pole position of the first Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge race at the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

Hodge edged out actor Jonathan LaPaglia and Britain’s greatest ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy in an electrifying qualifying session today at Albert Park.

Hodge said after the race that all his training with Mark Skaife this week paid off in spades today.

“It’s good to be starting at the front, I hope I can stay out of trouble, which is pretty much the idea at turn one at Albert Park - especially with the big boys breathing down my neck.”

Hodge, LaPaglia and Hoy traded places throughout the session, with all three spending time in front before qualifying was shortened after Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann went into the wall at turn 12.

Lehmo, who qualified ninth, was on his fourth flying lap when he got a tap from Neighbours star Scott McGregor turning him around into the wall.

“My motto from the start has been win or crash and I have achieved that,” Lehmo said.

“I’m hanging to see the vision. I hope it looked good. It's all about looking good in this game. I was coming down that back straight and thought I was well clear of Scott, he then whacked my rear end and I’ve spun around into the wall and smashed up the front of the Mazda6.”

The leading female in qualifying was Australia’s Olympic hero Anna Meares who finished in eighth place, ahead of singer Vanessa Amorosi who placed 12th.

The Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge continues tomorrow with the first race of the weekend.

Qualifying Results

1. Brad Hodge
2. Jonathan LaPaglia
3. Sir Chris Hoy
4. Shane Delia
5. Jared Daperis
6. Mark Beretta
7. Scott McGregor
8. Anna Meares
9. Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann
10. Matt Cowdrey
11. Chris Tarrant
12. Vanessa Amorosi
13. Kate Peck
14. Em Rusciano
15. Holly Candy
16. Wayne Cooper
17. Hamish Macdonald
18. Magdalena Roze
19. Renae Ayris
20. Sarah De Bono
21. Jessica Gomes

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