Tom Toparis is just one top-six finish away from wrapping up the Motorsports TV Australian Supersport title, after taking his fifth pole position of the season at Phillip Island this afternoon.
Toparis ended up more than a second clear of second-placed Nic Limington, with Jack Passfield qualifying a season-best third.
“I just need to finish the races this weekend to wrap up the title, but I want to go fast at the same time,” Toparis said.
“We improved a couple of tenths from the morning to the afternoon session.
“We still have a bit of work to make the bike a bit smoother for tomorrow, but our pace is good all the way through.
“I probably should forget about the championship and just keep doing what I’ve been doing, but the pressure is on tomorrow – I’ve never wrapped up a title before.”
Toparis’ closest championship challenger, Broc Pearson, will start tomorrow’s two races from sixth on the grid.
YMI Supersport 300
Senna Agius has come from fifth on the grid to take victory in a captivating opening YMI Supersport 300 race.
A pack of well over a dozen bikes spent the entire seven-lap distance slipstreaming one another, and there were multiple changes of the lead with Max Stauffer, Seth Crump, Locky Taylor, Luke Jhonston and Yannis Shaw all spending time in first place.
Agius saved his final challenge until the last lap, drafting his way past Shaw on the run to the finish line.
“I sat behind Yannis – he was pretty determined to lead on the last lap, so I followed him and was able to pull out of the slipstream on the last lap,” Agius said.
“I felt good through the race, but I saved my tyres for the last two laps in case I needed to sprint.
“The last round at Winton started slowly for me, so it’s good to start with a win this weekend.”
YMF R3 Cup
Locky Taylor took victory in the YMF R3 Cup race, another spectacle that produced intense slipstreaming and multiple lead changes.
Taylor won the battle in the final dash to the finish line, defeating Max Stauffer and John Lytras, who overtook Hunter Ford for the championship lead after Ford finished down in ninth position.
“It was a great race – credit to everyone who was in it, because it was a cracker,” Taylor said.
“There’s a bit of strategy – you 100 per cent do not wanting to be leading on the last lap, coming onto the straight, you want to be sitting around third or fourth to have a good dip coming up to the finish line.”
Horsell Consulting Sidecars
Corey Turner/Danyon Turner were victorious in the opening Sidecar race, taking victory ahead of Jeremy Joyce/Corey Blackman and F2 Class winners Mick Alton/Chrissy Clancy.
However, a mechanical problem in Race 2 saw the Turner brothers limping to the line, and allowed Joyce/Blackman to take the outright win ahead of Graeme Evans/Jarrod Scott, after a close battle between the two F1 outfits in the early laps. Alton/Clancy were again the best of the F2 outfits in third outright.
“I hit neutral coming onto the straight once, and Graeme was able to get past,” Joyce said.
“He made it pretty wide for a while, but eventually I was able to get through.
“This track, you can’t explain – it’s the fastest and scariest to be hanging off the side,” Blackman added.The Race 2 troubles for the Turners allowed Joyce/Blackman to close within 16 points of the F1 championship lead with one round remaining; however, a second-place F2 finish in Race 2 was enough for Pat Clancy and Stephen Bonney to wrap up the F2 title, Clancy becoming the youngest champion in series history.