Hayden Paddon has claimed pole position in the first-ever Allied Petroleum TCR New Zealand championship qualifying at Highlands Motorsport Park.
Paddon edged out Jaden Ransley for the top spot, with the two separated by 0.286s.
“It was a good session, still got a lot more in it yet but a good way to start the weekend,” Paddon said.
“It’s all very close, there’s only a second between all the TCR cars, which is the whole spirit of TCR. It’s anyone’s game.
“We had a couple of little issues with the car through practice so we haven’t really been able to test any setups so it was just a matter of bolting on some green tyres for qualy and going to doing some laps.
“What I’ve got to get my head around tomorrow is actually how to race other people, if we can try have a clean start then I’m sure we’ll go alright.”
Hyundai seem to have the early advantage this weekend, despite have to carry more ballast than any other manufactures car under the TCR technical regulations the Korean manufacturer locking out the first three positions.
Starting behind Ransley is Gene Rollinson in the Racer Products Hyundai.
Both Rollinson and Ransley set their fastest times in the dying moments of the session, with the pair split by 0.03s.
Jordan Michels was the first non-Hyundai driver and will start next to Rollinson on the second row.
Michels was another driver to post his quickest lap on his final run, with the Team Williams Honda pipping Greg Murphy to the fourth spot.
Murphy admitted ahead of the first practice session that he didn’t expect himself be challenging among the front runners.
Yet, the four-time Bathurst 1000 winner placed his Audi LMS on the third row.
He will start the first of tomorrow’s three races just ahead of Track Tec Racing stablemate Chris van der Drift.
Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes was seventh fastest, with Paul Radisich rounding out the runners. Just 1.083s split the entire field.
TCR New Zealand is also running with the Super Production series this weekend. Garry Derrick clinched pole position in class, ahead of Shane Hodgson.
The first TCR and Super Production race is scheduled to start at 9 am tomorrow.
|Chris van der Drift
Main Image: Geoff Ridder