Home Featured Lucas Auer beats title contenders to New Zealand Grand Prix pole

Lucas Auer beats title contenders to New Zealand Grand Prix pole

by Elliot Wood

Lucas Auer outshone M2 Competition team-mates Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong to take pole position for the 2019 New Zealand Grand Prix.

The Austrian initially played second fiddle to Lawson, who extracted a fast time out of his tyres early on, before Auer dropped the benchmark to 1m02.388s. It marks his second grand prix pole, having also achieved the feat back in 2013 under the aggregated times format.

“Yesterday we had some struggles with the tyre choice. We adjusted than and a couple of other things, and we made a huge step,” said Auer.

Lawson was “confused” over how Auer had set his quicker time later in the session, but importantly beat rival Armstrong, who he leads in the Toyota Racing Series standings by one point with two races to go at Manfeild.

A last minute flying lap by Victory Motor Racing’s Brendon Leitch put him fourth on the grid, ahead of M2’s Esteban Muth and Cameron Das and the Giles Motorsport pair of Raoul Hyman and Petr Ptacek.

Artem Petrov, who missed the first race of the weekend through illness, returned to the track with ninth place, with Calan Williams completing the top 10.

At the back of the field was Kenny Smith, who will be making his 48th NZ GP start from 17th on the grid.

 

Qualifying results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Lucas Auer M2 Competition 1m02.388s
2 Liam Lawson M2 Competition +0.023s
3 Marcus Armstrong M2 Competition +0.148s
4 Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing +0.514s
5 Esteban Muth M2 Competition +0.583s
6 Cameron Das M2 Competition +0.596s
7 Raoul Hyman Giles Motorsport +0.665s
8 Petr Ptacek Giles Motorsport +0.692s
9 Artem Petrov M2 Competition +0.693s
10 Calan Williams MTEC Motorsport +0.710s
11 Petru Florescu MTEC Motorsport +0.712s
12 Kazuto Kotaka MTEC Motorsport +0.813s
13 Jackson Walls MTEC Motorsport +0.844s
14 Parker Locke Victory Motor Racing +1.012s
15 Thomas Smith Giles Motorsport +1.075s
16 Dev Gore Giles Motorsport +1.530s
17 Kenny Smith Giles Motorsport +3.056s