McLaughlin on pole for Phillip Island opener
Scott McLaughlin pipped arch rival Chaz Mostert to break Ford’s stranglehold on Armor All Pole Awards in the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship.
Drivers were able to complete two green tyre runs in dry conditions at the Phillip Island circuit as threatening rain failed to materialise during the 15 minute qualifying session.
McLaughlin recorded a 1:30.66s best to sit atop the order after the first runs ahead of Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen.
Mostert shot to P1 by recording a 1:30.65s with just over a minute remaining, before McLaughlin flashed by in 1:30.64s just 20 seconds later.
The result marks the first non-Ford pole of the season to date.
“It was so much fun, the car was amazing,” beamed McLaughlin.
“I’m so stoked for everyone here… it was a tough year last year and hopefully we are going to bounce back this year.”
Mostert, who struggled for speed on the soft tyres at Symmons Plains, was likewise pleased with his work.
“We didn’t know where we were coming out of practice so to be P2 I’m pretty ecstatic,” said Mostert, having sat just 18th after the first runs.
“The car feels good on the hard tyre, we’ve got some work to do on the soft, but I can’t wait to get out there in the race and see what we can do.”
Winterbottom, Whincup and Van Gisbergen also improved marginally on their second runs to end up third through fifth respectively.
Michael Caruso split the Triple Eight trio by edging Craig Lowndes to sixth, while James Moffat scored an encouraging eighth in the second Volvo, 0.37s shy of team-mate McLaughlin.
DJR Team Penske duo Fabian Coulthard and Scott Pye completed the top 10.
Those struggling included Holden Racing Team duo James Courtney and Garth Tander, who ended up 14th and 18th respectively, and 20th placed Will Davison.
The 120km Race 6 is scheduled for 1630 local time this afternoon.
Result: V8 Supercars WD-40 Phillip Island Super Sprint Qualifying Race 6
|1||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:30.4880*H|
|2||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.5051 H||00.0171|
|3||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.6503 H||00.1623|
|4||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.6668 H||00.1788|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.6936 H||00.2056|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:30.7407 H||00.2527|
|7||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.8193 H||00.3313|
|8||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:30.8605 H||00.3725|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.9669 H||00.4789|
|10||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:30.9730 H||00.4850|
|11||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:30.9854 H||00.4974|
|12||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.0659 H||00.5779|
|13||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:31.1099 H||00.6219|
|14||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.1534 H||00.6654|
|15||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.2574 H||00.7694|
|16||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.2663 H||00.7783|
|17||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.3293 H||00.8413|
|18||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.4037 H||00.9157|
|19||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.4228 H||00.9348|
|20||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.4453 H||00.9573|
|21||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.4535 H||00.9655|
|22||Team GB Galvanizing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:31.4630 H||00.9750|
|23||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.6451 H||01.1571|
|24||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.9751 H||01.4871|
|25||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:32.0998 H||01.6118|
|26||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:33.1427 H||02.6547|