Nathaniel Powers has taken pole position for the opening race of 2017 in what is his Downton teams maiden pole position, and his first since the 2013 United States V-Prix, a mammoth 61 races ago.
Powers was pipped to the top spot in yesterdays practice session by Adrien Simon, but was the only man to break the 72-second barrier today to take pole by nearly four tenths of a second. Elroy Wagner will line up second on his Lopez debut, with reigning champion Simon completing the top three ahead of Judson Sikes, who was an excellent fourth for North Star.
Klaas van Snelheid was the best rookie in fifth ahead of the Westwood pair, with Enrique Ruiz disappointed with eighth and citing balance issues with his car as the cause. Arden Hutchinson gave FIRST reason to smile with ninth while Aleksy Nowosinki made it two North Stars in the top ten with a last gasp lap.
Allar Kangur was frustrated with twelfth on his debut while Jochem van Snelheid refused to even speak to reporters after putting his Franklin just seventeenth on the grid. Will Hoskins' struggle to adapt to his new AMR also continued as he only managed eighteenth in qualifying but he got further than Olen Inman. The Monegasque has still completed no laps whatsoever around the Phillip Island circuit after further problems with his Volvo engine following the issues in practice yesterday.
The forecast for tomorrow is for sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid thirties, with the medium tyres the clear favourite option as each drivers tyre choice was revealed following qualifying.
See below for full classification and tyre choices for the race: