Hitech Pulse-Eight Team Principal Oliver Oakes is hopeful that all three of his drivers will be in the running for victory in at least one of the Melbourne races this weekend.
Two of the three Hitech Pulse-Eight drivers held provisional pole at one stage, but it wasn’t to be for the British outfit. Despite that, P3 for Gabriele Minì, P9 for Luke Browning and reverse grid pole in P12 for Sebastián Montoya means each of the drivers are in contention for a strong result come Saturday and Sunday.
One of three teams with all of their drivers Qualifying inside the top 12, the team looks poised to make their early season pace count once more. Hitech finished as the only outfit with their trio in points-scoring positions in the Sakhir Feature Race. According to Oakes, there’s no reason why his three drivers can’t repeat that feat once again.
“Gabi was in the mix the whole session; it was a good result for him but I’m sure he would have liked pole. It was changing all the time at the front, but he was up there from start to finish. Hopefully this weekend he can show the same speed he had in Bahrain.
“Luke will be slightly disappointed. He was shadowing Gabi all session, but he’s done well as a rookie in that. It was a very difficult session with the three Red Flag stoppages, but he’s come through it well and we’re happy to get a top 10.
“Seb in P12 is another good result. He’s on reverse grid pole for tomorrow and in good shape for the rest of the weekend. He came through at the end of the Feature last time so hopefully he can repeat that on Sunday as well.”
After a post-race penalty dropped Minì down the order having crossed the line in the Sakhir Feature P1, the Italian will be out to remedy that disappointment this weekend. Quick in Practice ahead of Qualifying, his pace looks undimmed despite tackling the Albert Park Circuit for the first time ever.
“To arrive and drive and be quick right out of the gate, it’s a good start for him,” Oakes continued. “We’re pleased he’s been able to carry that on from Bahrain. We’ll see what tomorrow brings but I’m sure he’ll be on it all the way through.”
For Browning, P9 gives him a much better starting position than he had in Round 1. Following his impressive rebound from 17th, expectations for the Brit are high with a better grid slot this time around.
“Luke’s weekend last time was decent considering his starting position. I think that he has the speed and showed that in Qualifying, fighting with Gabi early on for pole. Hopefully tomorrow he’ll be near the top once again and get some more points on the board.”