SVG leads Kiwi front-row for Race 22
Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen narrowly defeated fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin to score pole for today’s opening leg of the Castrol Gold Coast 600.
The bulk of the field completed three green tyre runs across the 20 minutes that set the grid for Race 22.
Van Gisbergen wasted no time in putting down a benchmark, clocking 1:10.79s on his first attempt.
McLaughlin moved to the top on the second runs, improving the fastest time to 1:10.68s.
Van Gisbergen returned serve in the dying minutes, scoring his third pole of the season with 1:10.65s while McLaughlin failed to improve.
Jamie Whincup and James Moffat ensured that the Red Bull and Volvo teams locked out the first two rows of the grid, while Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds impressed with fifth.
“I always knew Jamie and Scotty would be up there, they’re specialists here too,” smiled Van Gisbergen, who returned to the pits with his front passenger door swinging open.
“But the car is fantastic and it’s such an awesome session around here. I ended up knocking the door off it!”
Michael Caruso again led the Nissan charge in sixth ahead of Lee Holdsworth, Will Davison, Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert.
James Courtney was 11th after the Holden Racing Team elected to do just two runs, leaving the reigning Sunday Gold Coast winner off-sequence with the pack in the closing stages.
The strategy saw Courtney narrowly avoided disaster as he tried to cut through those warming up for their third run as he attempted a hot lap, swerving to avoid Todd Kelly.
Kelly was immediately given a two-place grid penalty for impeding Courtney, meaning the Nissan driver will start 23rd.
HRT team boss Adrian Burgess was left disappointed that Kelly was not told that Courtney was coming through.
“Yesterday we didn’t get a good read on the car so in that session we wanted to do two longer runs so the drivers could build up to it,” said Burgess.
“At the end of the day when you’re on a flying lap and have got your lights on, the guys who have come out of the pitlane should be told by their teams.
“Luckily we avoided a big accident, but that’s what teams are there for. To tell their drivers what’s going on.”
Team-mate Garth Tander managed just 14th, while fellow Holden star Craig Lowndes also missed the top 10 in 12th.
It was a tough session too for DJR Team Penske, whose drivers Scott Pye and Fabian Coulthard will start 15th and 22nd respectively.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Castrol Gold Coast 600 Race 22 Qualifying
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.65|
|2||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:10.68||00.02|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.88||00.22|
|4||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:10.90||00.24|
|5||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.99||00.34|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:11.01||00.36|
|7||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.06||00.40|
|8||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.06||00.40|
|9||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.07||00.42|
|10||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.11||00.46|
|11||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.12||00.46|
|12||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.19||00.54|
|13||Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.24||00.59|
|14||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.25||00.59|
|15||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.25||00.60|
|16||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:11.38||00.72|
|17||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.38||00.73|
|18||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.39||00.74|
|19||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.40||00.75|
|20||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:11.41||00.76|
|21||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:11.46||00.80|
|22||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.46||00.81|
|23||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.54||00.89|
|24||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.55||00.90|
|25||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.92||01.27|
|26||Erebus Motorsport||Shae Davies||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.20||01.54|