Shane van Gisbergen scored Triple Eight’s first Armor All Pole Award of the season following an opportunistic play from the Holden team in qualifying at Hidden Valley.
With cloud cover briefly shading the circuit as the session went green, Van Gisbergen was sent straight out on new tyres while the bulk of the field ran a warm-up set.
The Kiwi immediately put down a record breaking 1:06.09s lap that, with the sun soon bathing the circuit once more, proved unbeatable for the remainder of the 15 minutes.
Michael Caruso drew within 0.08s of the benchmark during his first of two new tyre runs ahead of Will Davison, Chaz Mostert, Mark Winterbottom and Jamie Whincup.
The increasingly warm track conditions saw none of the 26 places change in the final minutes as drivers ran their second and final set of tyres.
“We just put a lap down straight away,” smiled Van Gisbergen.
“Normally you go better on the second run but we just couldn’t do it.
“Hopefully we can lead from the front in the race.”
Caruso was meanwhile pleased with second as he shoots to become the year’s 10th different winner.
“We’ve been working really hard and we feel we’ve made progress and this shows it,” he said.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good spot to make it happen this afternoon.”
Starting seventh through 10th will be Craig Lowndes, Tim Slade, Scott Pye and Rick Kelly, with Fabian Coulthard 11th in the second DJR Team Penske Ford.
Those down the order included Scott McLaughlin in 15th and the Holden Racing Team duo of James Courtney (17th) and Garth Tander (25th).
“We talked about using the cloud cover but you run the risk of using a set that you don’t have later,” admitted McLaughlin.
“It’s a hard call but they (Van Gisbergen’s crew) made the right one.”
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team-mates Andre Heimgartner and Nick Percat joined Van Gisbergen in running greens straight away and will start 18th and 22nd respectively.
The 120km Race 12 will get underway at 1615 local time.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown Race 12 Qualifying
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.0923RS|
|2||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:06.1754rS||0:00.0831|
|3||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.2491rS||0:00.1568|
|4||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.3224 S||0:00.2301|
|5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.3452 S||0:00.2529|
|6||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.3540 S||0:00.2617|
|7||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.3959 S||0:00.3036|
|8||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.4153 S||0:00.3230|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.4243 S||0:00.3320|
|10||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:06.4477 S||0:00.3554|
|11||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.4861 S||0:00.3938|
|12||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.4967 S||0:00.4044|
|13||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.5536 S||0:00.4613|
|14||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:06.5727 S||0:00.4804|
|15||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:06.5771 S||0:00.4848|
|16||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.6280 S||0:00.5357|
|17||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.7049 S||0:00.6126|
|18||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.7233 S||0:00.6310|
|19||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:06.7654 S||0:00.6731|
|20||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:06.8445 S||0:00.7522|
|21||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:06.8582 S||0:00.7659|
|22||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.8662 S||0:00.7739|
|23||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.9270 S||0:00.8347|
|24||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.9344 S||0:00.8421|
|25||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:06.9522 S||0:00.8599|
|26||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:07.2319 S||0:01.1396|