A great time, penalty free and Sonka is raising his game! He's in it to win it here in Spielberg... Lance Winter and Josef Sonka from Martin's team really happy with that smooth and confident performance of 57.070
Second attempt... wings level and he's through Gate 1 at 195kts...
Faster and faster Sonka goes, the splits go into the green and he's 0.150s off his fastest time as the second split comes in...
Sonka scrubbing off time and pulling HARD through that vertical turn
He's pushing hard... a slight stall and a few issues and he's under review... but NO, it's all clear for Sonka and that storming second run earns him 57.056
A fantastic start for the Czech pilot and he's definitely making his mark in Austria...
Fellow Czech pilot Petr Kopfstein into the track... a slightly less forceful start at 192kts through the Start Gate but... oh no!
- Pylon Hit!
Gate 5 catches Kopfstein out in the tricky turn from the corner on Gate 4
That's +3s on the clock for Kopfstein and he's clocked in at 1:02.685 in that first run. Kopfstein just in holding as the Airgators do a super quick repair on Gate 5
Just waiting for the all clear so that Kopfstein can take his second and final Qualifying run
Cleared into the track... Kopfstein now focusing on his second run and will have to put that first run firmly behind him.
Kopfstein quicker through that first split, but he's losing time as he passes through 5 and 6.... we're seeing over 1.2s extra on the splits but it's an otherwise cleaner and more confident run from Kopfstein... but no... it's a late review and Gate 5 causing issues for Kopfstein again for sinking in Gate 5.
Sonka currently in first with 57.056 as Slovenia's Podlunsek is cleared into the track..
Podlunsek's family are here today in Spielberg to see him at his adopted "home race"
Podlunsek's best position was in FP3 earlier today with 13th place... but he's off the pace and that Start Speed is lacking at 189kts
But it's a much better and settled performance from Podlunsek as he gets a clean run and grabs his best time so far with 1:01.314... only Podlunsek's second race of the season and he's steadily improving.
More entry speed at 194kts and cleaner, smoother and more confident.
Race Director Jim DiMatteo puts out the call for Podlunsek to knock it off... that's a DQ for crossing the safety line. A shame for Podlunsek, a good and confident run otherwise and he could have been on pace for an even better time.
Britain's Nigel Lamb flying out next... it's St George's Day in Britain today, so can Lamb add to the national celebrations?
Lamb's best time so far this week was 6th place and 57.736 so he'll be looking to take it up a step in Qualifying now...
That's a great start for Lamb, only 192kts through the Start Gate but the green light is on in the first split...
The MXS-R has got a great turn but Lamb needs to keep up the energy... the splits have gone red and Lamb is only 0.352s off Sonka's pace but it's a great first effort from Lamb! 57.408
Lamb looking disappointed... clearly he thinks he's got much more in the tank, but it's a solid start to Qualifying for the Brit.
Second run is go for Lamb... sweeping into the Start Gate fro 196.1kts and he's in the green... Lamb is going all-out in this Qualifying and looking very quick! 0.254s quicker than Sonka in the second split...
Lamb pushing his limits and he knows he's got what it takes to go full throttle and take a top spot in Spielberg...
And the green light is still on as Lamb makes a pass through the Finish Gate! It's under review but Lamb is cleared of penalties and he takes a top spot with 56.803
Lamb punches the air and it's a textbook Qualifying run from the British pilot.
Lamb, Sonka and Kopfstein currently occupying the top three spots on the timesheets. Local hero Hannes Arch up next.