Scott McLaughlin and Volvo trumped Prodrive’s fast Fords to score pole position for the 200km feature race at the Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint.
Top three qualifiers McLaughlin, David Reynolds and Chaz Mostert were separated by just 0.02s at the end of the 20 minutes.
Despite morning showers and expectations of more rain to come during the afternoon, the session was run in dry conditions.
Drivers spent the bulk of the going assessing the cooler track conditions before the single run on new hard tyres in the final five minutes.
While Reynolds and Mostert appeared to have secured another front-row lockout, McLaughlin’s strategy of an almost full pace warm-up lap before his ultimate effort saw him edge ahead.
“I didn’t expect that today, but the boys gave me a great car,” beamed McLaughlin while accepting the Armor All Pole Award. “Wet or dry I’m looking forward to the race.”
“Probably the smart thing to do was do a 75 percent lap like Scott did and then go for it,” admitted Reynolds. “But my engineer said the pressures are good to go in the first lap so I went for it.”
Shane van Gisbergen, Scott Pye, Lee Holdsworth and Andre Heimgartner filled fourth through seventh, ensuring four of the five Falcons in the field made the top seven.
Championship leader Mark Winterbottom however will start just 12th, attempting three flying laps on his tyres as he struggled to match his team-mates with a ‘fast but unpredictable’ set-up.
Race 22 winner Jamie Whincup set the initial benchmark in a single lap run on new tyres before eventually falling to eighth. Team-mate Craig Lowndes was even further back in 19th.
Holdsworth was meanwhile the only shining light for Walkinshaw Racing in a session that saw Tim Slade, Garth Tander and Jack Perkins all outside the top 20.
Result: V8 Supercars Race 23 Qualifying, Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:30.1669|
|2||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.1834||00.0165|
|3||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.1868||00.0199|
|4||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.2241||00.0572|
|5||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.2336||00.0667|
|6||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.2413||00.0744|
|7||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.2536||00.0867|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.2899||00.1230|
|9||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||1:30.3720||00.2051|
|10||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.4201||00.2532|
|11||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:30.4823||00.3154|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.4886||00.3217|
|13||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:30.5298||00.3629|
|14||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.5597||00.3928|
|15||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||1:30.5791||00.4122|
|16||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:30.6322||00.4653|
|17||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.6400||00.4731|
|18||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:30.6700||00.5031|
|19||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.7071||00.5402|
|20||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.7811||00.6142|
|21||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.7812||00.6143|
|22||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.8377||00.6708|
|23||Erebus Motorsport V8||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:30.8683||00.7014|
|24||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.9922||00.8253|
|25||Holden Racing Team||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.3020||01.1351|