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REVIEW: Thrilling F1® Qualifying rounds out huge Saturday at Albert Park

Phil Branagan
Saturday, 23 March 2024

Apart from one of the most exciting Formula 1® Qualifying sessions in years, the racing at Albert Park has set up a huge Sunday for the fans in the FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2024.

Apart from Max Verstappen snatching pole position for the third round of the Drivers’ World Championship, the support categories had the 130,000-plus crowd on their feet during a long and unrelenting day of action.

Supercars set the pace for the day with two extraordinary Qualifying sessions, Chaz Mostert and Matt Payne scoring the poles in their Ford Mustangs.


The afternoon race was just as enthralling but for different reasons, as Ford drivers Cam Waters (Tickford) and Matt Payne (Grove) clashed at the end of the second of 14 laps – and both were out on the spot.

The Safety Car was summoned and when the racing resumed it was Red Bull’s Broc Feeney who won, for the second time over the weekend, ahead of – surprise, surprise – teammate Will Brown. The best Ford man was Chaz Mostert in third.

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There was a ton of action in the Formula 2® race, with a clash at the start and another after 11 laps prompting Safety Car periods.

Emerging from the chaos was Frenchman Isack Hadjar, whose Campos Racing entry sped away after each restart to win by 6.8 seconds. However, he was handed a time penalty for swerving and causing a collision at the start, so Roman Stanek (Trident) won ahead of Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport).

In the Formula 3® Sprint Race, Norway’s Martinius Stenshorne came through to take his maiden win ahead of Britain’s Arvid Lindblad and Laurens van Hoepen.

Aussie driver Christian Mansell ran with the leaders for the race's first half before dropping back to 12th. Tommy Smith clashed with Thai driver Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and dropped to 25th.

The final event of the day, the third Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup race, started with a bang. Three cars clashed at the first corner, prompting a Safety Car.

At the restart, Dale Wood led, but Harri Jones quickly pushed the veteran, finding a way past, only to run wide and drop to P4.

Wood eased away to take the win ahead of Marcos Flack and Jackson Walls, while Pro-Am honours went to Adrian Flack.