Craig Baird - Photo Credit: Porsche Cars Australia

Craig Baird - Photo Credit: Porsche Cars Australia

Craig Baird claimed pole position for the first of the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia races at Bathurst.

The Kiwi took top spot with his final flying lap, bettering the time of Michael Patrizi who had been the benchmark for the field.

After two practice sessions being held in the wet, the dry qualifying session posed a challenge to all of the drivers.

“That was the first session any of us had done in the dry so I think there is room for improvement in the set-up of the car,” said Baird.

“We didn't quite have it right so we'll certainly make some changes overnight. I think we've got a better race car than what we've got as a qualifying car so I'm definitely confident going into tomorrow.”

Steven Richards and Daniel Gaunt took third and fourth places, meaning that the top four in qualifying are all drivers that are competing in the 1000 km V8 Supercar race around the same Mount Panorama circuit on Sunday.

Britain's Ben Barker, last year's Australian F3 champion, took fifth on the grid ahead of former A1 Grand Prix racer Jonny Reid, whose session ended early when he hit the tyre wall at Forest Elbow.

Matthew Coleman and Tim Leahey will share the fourth row of the grid in seventh and eighth respectively. Elite Class pacesetter Shane Smollen was ninth, with Jeremy Gray completing the top ten.