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PRESS RELEASE/Australian Formula 4 – Photo: Velocity Magazine (Darin Mandy)
AGI Sport’s Luis Leeds has clinched today’s Castrol Pole Position at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, for the opening round of the 2019 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship.
With 2018 Champion Jayden Ojeda leading for much of the 20 minute session, local Victorian Leeds clinched pole in the final seconds by 0.0066 seconds – faster than the blink of an eye.
Leeds was naturally ecstatic with the result.
“AGI had the car absolutely hooked up. Going into the last lap, I knew Jayden was in front of me. I had to push my absolute heart out,” Leeds said.
“I pushed too hard, missed the apex at turn three but I knew I’ve got to keep pushing. I nailed the exit of turn six, crossed the line and you saw what happened.”
The significance of the Albert Park Circuit was also not lost on the local Victorian.
“It literally feels like a dream,” Leeds said.
“Growing up as a kid, I’ve always watched the F1 drivers here. I said to myself before qualifying ‘I’m actually racing on a track Michael Scumacher has raced at, Lewis Hamilton has raced at’.
“I’ve got such a great opportunity to go out there, get on a pole and I did just that.”
2018 Champion Ojeda was equally thrilled to start on the front row, with the result securing an AGI Sport lockout of the front row ahead of Friday’s opening race.
“I can’t be happier for the team at AGI Sport, we’ve got five cars in the top seven,” Ojeda said.
“The track’s amazing, it’s my first Formula 1 track that I’ve driven on. It’s a really big atmosphere… I can’t be more happier to be here.”
2018 runner-up Ryan Suhle was the best Team BRM performer in third place, with Burson Auto Parts Rookie of 2018 Lochie Hughes joining Suhle on the second row of the grid.
“You don’t get the chance to embrace the awesome nature of this track,” Suhle said.
“We don’t have much track time so you’ve kind of got to get out there and get into it. Even the roll around and cool down laps, you’ve got a purpose.”
AGI Sport’s Antonio Astuti secured a career best qualifying performance of fifth, with teammate Jackson Burton the best performing debutant in sixth ahead of Josh Smith.
MTEC Motorsport’s Taylor Cockerton and Ryan Yardley from New Zealand impressed in their first sample of Albert Park and an Australian Formula 4 car to be inside the top ten.
Matt Holmes won the intra-team battle at JRD, qualifying ahead of teammate Heath Collinson.
Patrizicorse’s Jackson Walls endured a difficult qualifying session and will start tomorrow’s opening race from 14th, but is hopeful of a charge up the field.
Team BRM’s Brenton Griguol will start from the rear of the grid in 18th, with gearbox problems affecting the South Australian’s qualifying hopes.
Friday will see a 20 minute race take place at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix from 10:55am, with the first championship points to be awarded to the top ten.
Castrol Pole Position
1. Luis Leeds (AGI) 2:02.1251
2. Jayden Ojeda (AGI) +0.0066
3. Ryan Suhle (BRM) +0.4127
4. Lochie Hughes (Patrizicorse) +0.5485
5. Antonio Astuti (AGI) +1.1928
6. Jackson Burton (AGI) +1.1943
7. Josh Smith (AGI) +1.4137
8. Taylor Cockerton (MTEC) +1.5308
9. Ryan Yardley (MTEC) +1.5976
10. Tommy Smith (BRM) +2.7488
11. Matt Holmes (JRD) +3.3448
12. Heath Collinson (JRD) +3.6327
13. Dylan Thomas (Tank Motorsport) +3.8338
14. Jackson Walls (Patrizicorse) +4.8125
15. Emerson Harvey (BRM) +5.5257
16. Christian Lester (Rossoverde) +6.0751
17. Aaron Zerefos (Patrizicorse) +10.1466
18. Brenton Griguol (BRM) +15.0832