Michael Eastwell took a dominant pole position for today’s opening VeriVin Champion of Brands race, leading virtually all of the 15-minute qualifying session in his Spectrum.
Eastwell of Kevin Mills Racing led the competitive 18-car field for most of the session, topping the times after his first flying lap with a 51.751s which he chiselled down to a stunning 50.021s around two-thirds’ of the way into the 15 minute session.
This was enough for pole as few improvements were made in the final five minutes. It is thought that Eastwell’s time is the fastest qualifying mark ever set in the Champion of Brands since the series was re-established, beating Ollie White’s 50.094s mark from the May 2016 meeting.
Eastwell beat the Cliff Dempsey Racing trio of Jamie Thorburn, James Raven and Jonathan Browne, all in Rays, into second, third and fourth respectively. Thorburn and Raven’s best laps were around three tenths of a second off Eastwell’s pole mark while Browne was 0.6s off.
Reigning Champion of Brands and multiple winner in this series White could only manage fifth quickest time in his Medina Sport, 0.8s off Eastwell.
Chris Middlehurst was sixth quickest in his Van Diemen followed by Rory Smith in his Medina Sport, both just under a second from Eastwell’s time.
They were followed by eighth-placed Flashman Finneran in his Van Dieman, 1.7s off the pace, Conor Murphy who was 1.9s off in ninth in his Mondiale and the top ten was completed by Max Marzorati, who recovered from an early trip through the Paddock Hill Bend gravel to set a time 2.3s off the pole in his Firman.
|6||Chris Middlehurst||Van Diemen||+0.928|
|8||Flashman Finneran||Van Diemen||+1.769|
|14||Andrew Clark||Van Diemen||+4.980|
|16||Andrew Pryke||Van Diemen||+6.557|