Glenn Smith is on provisional pole for the first round of the South Island Endurance Series. However, an inquiry into an unrecorded lap by Chris van der Drift might see that overturned.
Smith looked to have secured pole in the McLaren 650S GT3 with a time of 1.32.15.
However, a last gasp effort by the Nissan GT-R of van der Drift was faster than Smith’s time.
Van der Drift set a 1.31.37s time. But the session time had expired just as van der Drift crossed the line to start his lap.
Van der Drift and the Hamilton Motorsport crew say the main gantry displayed flashing green lights when the car crossed the start line to begin their lap.
Yet, timing screens failed to record that lap.
Thus, Smith is provisionally on pole but will have to see out the investigation before it is confirmed.
Either way, the front row of this afternoon’s three-hour race will feature a McLaren and a Nissan GT-R.
Sam Collins and Nick Ross start third in the MARC II V8, the team a sizable nine-tenths quicker than the 991 GT3R of Scott O’Donnell and Allan Dippie.
Ryan Wood sauntered to pole position for the Class C and D one-hour race.
The 17-year-old’s best lap was 2.9s quicker than Marco Schelp, who joins the rookie on the front row.
Chris and Johnny Small makes it three Porsches in the first three places. The Timaru brothers were a mere two-tenths slower than Schelp.
Chris Henderson’s V8-driven Toyota 86 slots himself on the second row, besting the Porsches of Jarrod Owens, Russell McKenzie and Ben Byers, who starts P5 through to P8.
Jordan Michels in the Team Williams MARC Ford Focus and the second-generation 991 of Ben and Garry Derrick rounds out the top ten.
Pole for the Class A and B one-hour race went to Scott O’Donnell in the Hyundai i30 N.
Yesterday’s pacesetter in practice, Andre Simon, joins O’Donnell on the front row. The gap between the two was 0.9s.
Mike Hall (VW Golf GTi 35) completed a mammoth eight laps in the 15-minute session, with his best time securing him third on the grid.
Steven Kelly was quick in practice yesterday but ran into dramas early in the session.
His BMW E46 M3 grounded to a halt on track, meaning he’ll start from the back of the grid if the team can solve the issue ahead of the race.
Main Image: Mark Petch