FORMER Formula 1 hopeful Jonny Reid has taken pole position for Friday’s first Porsche Carrera Cup race at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.
The young Kiwi, who has been racing in New Zealand’s Porsche series over the summer, lapped Albert Park in 1:59.0414sec to take pole position.
His time was set in frantic conditions, with two red flag stoppages resulting in a shortened session.
In fact, it was so short that the drivers were only able to do one flying lap after the second stoppage, effectively making it a shoot-out for pole.
“I was fortunate to get a clear lap at the end of today's qualifying session,” said Reid.
“I was able to put together a reasonable lap that was better than the rest. From the little bit of track time that we’ve had, I’m absolutely stoked to be at the front.
“I said before the weekend it would be fantastic to be racing with Mark Skaife. He’s a legend in my eyes, and a legend in the V8 Supercars Championship so to be up the front with him is an honour in a lot of ways.
“In saying that, we’re all here to win. So we’ll race him hard and fair.”
To take pole, Reid had to beat the likes of Australian V8 Supercar legend Skaife and Kiwi veteran Craig Baird, both of whom had brief spells at the top of the times in the do-or-die final moments of the session.
Skaife, who is debuting in Carrera Cup, will line up second, ahead of Baird, Daniel Gaunt and Steven Richards.
This was the first official qualifying session for the re-born Carrera Cup, which is returning to Australian circuits after a two-year hiatus.
With brand new 997 Cup Cars making up the field, the pole time was much faster than the 2:00.2067sec lap that gave Aaron Caratti pole position when Carrera Cup last raced at Albert Park, back in 2008.
The first race will be on Friday at 11:25am.