TIM Leahey might have joked about his age and that he is "nearly spent" as a race driver, but on Saturday no man went quicker than him in qualifying for the Bathurst 6 Hour.
The Orange native, who recently turned 44, secured pole position in the BMW M3 he shares with Beric Lynton by clocking a 2:24.8000 lap.
He did it in the first half of the qualifying session - his ninth circuit around Mount Panorama - and it was a mark no-one was able to better.
"You've got to celebrate a pole position ... especially because I had a birthday last weekend so I'm getting old, I'm nearly spent," Leahey laughed.
"It's getting away on me, five minutes ago it felt like I was 21 and now I look around and I'm 44, so I'm getting on.
"It still love driving though. When you have a business and have got 84 staff it can be a little bit stressful, but the good thing about driving a race car is that when you put your helmet on and you are driving as fast as you can, you can't think about anything else.
"You need to have 100 percent focus on driving fast. That's what I enjoy more now than when I was young and trying to make a career out of it."
It's back-to-back poles for Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey on the Mountain, while Jordan Cox - Cox Motorsport disrupted the BMW party by putting his Lancer on the front row.— Bathurst 6 Hour (@Bathurst6Hour) April 20, 2019
Get the full rundown at the link. https://t.co/DeJlq4piVM#B6HRpic.twitter.com/KDMbNMvvmi
READ MORE: Bathurst 6 Hour live blog
Peeling off one lap specials in the Bathurst 6 Hour is nothing new for Leahey.
In the inaugural edition of the Bathurst 6 Hour in 2016, Chaz Mostert was the fastest in qualifying but was handed a 10-spot grid penalty assessed for a technical infringement.
It handed pole position to Leahey, who had clocked an effort just 0.2 seconds slower than Mostert.
Last year Leahey secured pole position via topping qualifying with his 2:22.904 effort.
While peeling off the lap which secured him pole position this year in the first half of the qualifying session, Leahey said he felt the mark would stand.
He felt he could not have done any better on the new MRF tyre which he and his fellow competitors are still adjusting to.
"I didn't really know what to expect from that new tyre because it is quite bizarre. It's got like and on and off switch, one minute it's working and the next minute it's not. In saying that I mean one minute it has got grip, the next minute it hasn't," he said.
"It's kinda like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you're going to get. It was gripped up for that whole lap, it was a good lap and was as hard as the car could go.
"But once I got that lap in the tyre went away, so that was it.
"So we've been chipping away, looking after the tyre, trying to understand it and we've got it as best as we know it now. We'll just see how we go tomorrow."
While Leahey was happy to have secured pole position and make a good start to this year's 6 Hour campaign, for both himself and Lynton the bigger goal comes on Sunday.
They want to be standing on the top step of the podium come Sunday evening and know that securing pole position is no guarantee of doing so.
In the three editions of the Bathurst 6 Hour staged thus far, no-one has won from pole.
"I rather start at the back and win tomorrow than start at the front and not win," Leahey said.
"Pole is probably good for your head, but at end of the day, pole is one lap and we've got six hours to go. The six hours is the one that matters, we desperately want to win the race."
Joining Leahey on the front row of the grid on Sunday morning is the Cox Automotive Mitsubishi Lancer. Jordan Cox managed a best lap time of 2:27.8480.
"We're very happy, it was good," Cox said.
"To split the BMWs is good and we didn't expect to be second so we're very happy with that. The performance is down to everything - we've got a good team, good preparation and a good set up and we've been working hard on it. It's a good combination.
"We've got our fingers crossed for tomorrow - it's a long race and it's our goal to finish."
Iain Sherrin (2:27.9800) took third in qualifying with Andrew Fisher (2:28.3170) fourth - both men in BMW M4s - to join him on the second row.
The #56 Kelso Electrical entry shared by Bathurst drivers Brad Shiels, Brad Schumacher and Mark Griffith was fourth fastest in the bottom 50 percent qualifying session.
Shiels clocked a 2:37.3390 in the Subaru Impreza.