Taylor wins thrilling pole battle at Phillip Island

A thrilling battle for pole position saw Greg Taylor edge out Tim Macrow and Kane Rose at Phillip Island in qualifying for the final round of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series presented by Pirelli.

The trio swapped best laps for much of the 25-minute session, with Rose taking up the early running before Macrow and Taylor both took their turn at the top of the timing screens before a final push from Taylor netted the GT Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driver his third pole position of the season.

“I was definitely trying hard to do that,” Taylor said.

“There was dirt on the track so we had to be careful of that, and it’s difficult to go form a wet track to a slippery track in practice, then go out on a dry track and do your best lap straight away.

“I expect we’ll go even faster in the race tomorrow!”

Sharing the Tusk Windsor Lamborghini Gallardo with Francis Placentino, a sensational lap from Macrow netted the duo a front row starting position.

It was Macrow’s first appearance in the Australian GT Trophy Series, a performance made all the more impressive given he’d not sat in the car before qualifying.

“The car is good and handles really well,” Macrow enthused.

“I think the Audi’s are a little bit quicker than us but I was pretty confident of punching out a lap time in four or five laps.”

Having set the early running, Rose will start tomorrow’s first 50-minute race from third place.

“I missed the setup a little bit,” he admitted. “It was a bit loose at the rear, but we’ll fine tune that for tomorrow.”

Trophy Class points leader Rob Smith was fifth fastest, fourth in class behind the extremely rapid Jack Smith in the leading MARC Cars Australia entry, with Travers Beynon joining Rob Smith to make for an all-Audi R8 LMS third row.

Second in the MARC Class was Keith Kassulke with John Goodacre enjoying his first Australian GT Trophy Series qualifying session to be third in class, with Mick Benton and the Jason Busk/Sam Gerrard MARC Focus V8s rounding out the class.

Richard Gartner and Adrian Flack snared the Challenge Class pole position in the Safe-T-Stop Porsche GT3 Cup Car, holding off the charge from Scott Hookey’s Exotic Track Days Ferrari 458 Challenge.

Brendan Cook and Ockert Fourie combined in the KPH Racing/OLOF Cosmetic Family Dental Spa Porsche, ending the session third fastest in Challenge class after the team caught a faulty radiator hose in the moments before the session.

With two titles still to be decided the season will build to an exciting climax throughout tomorrow’s two 50-minute races.

Race 1 is scheduled for 09:50 before Race 2 gets underway at 13:40 with both streamed live via the Australian GT website, www.australiangt.com.au