McLaughlin storms to provisional Townsville pole

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin was unstoppable as he surged to an Armor All provisional pole position for Race 14 of the Watpac Townsville 400.

The DJR Team Penske driver proved the man to beat as he posted a 1:12.03s effort which was more than two tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival.

In a repeat of his Saturday qualifying display the Kiwi was able to climb out of the car with three minutes of the session remaining.

McLaughlin will also take two sets of green tyres into this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout and 200km race.

“It’s really nice to drive a car this good and it sort of repays you driving to its limit,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s a lot of fun around here, especially a street circuit, but I’m a lucky boy, I’m just counting my lucky stars to be able to drive a car this good.

“We’ve got to work on a few things but it’s nice, so I’m just stoked to be in the Shootout again.”

Prodrive continued its resurgence with all four cars inside the Top 10.

Chaz Mostert led the charge as he climbed to second, 0.26s shy of McLaughlin.

Mark Winterbottom put his Ford into third while team-mates Cameron Waters and Jason Bright were seventh and eighth.

Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds impressed as he emerged as the top Holden in fourth, ahead of the Red Bull Commodores of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen.

The two Triple Eight drivers were forced to dig deep to claim a spot in the all important shootout.

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander pipped Nissan’s Rick Kelly to complete the Top 10.

Nissan’s Michael Caruso narrowly missed out in 11th position ahead of DJRTP’s Fabian Coulthard, who couldn’t match the pace of his team-mate McLaughlin.

“We just can’t get on top of the quali car here this weekend,” said Coulthard.

“Scotty’s got it nailed, two from two, so like I said yesterday we’ve got a lot of work to do in the quali sense but we won’t give up.

“For me I’m just struggling to get the car rotated. Every time you wait for the car to rotate, you can’t get on the throttle, so that’s time for nothing, but we’ve thrown a few things at it this weekend to try and improve it and make it better.

“Unfortunately my guys on the 12, we haven’t been able to manage it.”

Coulthard finished ahead of Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s James Courtney, who produced an improved showing in 13th spot.

Craig Lowndes was another notable absentee from the top 10 as his qualifying woes continued down in 21st position.

“We’ve just got to try and activate the tyre, that’s our biggest drama,” said Lowndes.

“We had a good run through Darwin, we thought we’d come here and got sort of 90 percent of it right, but we’re struggling in qualifying, so we’ll just race on like we did yesterday and see if we can get some good points.”

The Armor All Top 10 Shootout will take place at 1315 ahead of today’s 200km heat at 1610 local time.

Results: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship: Watpac Townsville 400: Race 14 Qualifying

1 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.0307RSS
2 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.2986 SS 00.2679
3 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.3043 SS 00.2736
4 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 1:12.3290 SS 00.2983
5 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:12.3513 SS 00.3206
6 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:12.4495 SS 00.4188
7 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.4542 SS 00.4235
8 MEGA Racing Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.4640 SS 00.4333
9 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:12.5213 SS 00.4906
10 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:12.5271 SS 00.4964
11 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:12.5662 SS 00.5355
12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.5681 SS 00.5374
13 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:12.5914 SS 00.5607
14 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:12.5994 SS 00.5687
15 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:12.6116 SS 00.5809
16 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Holden Commodore VF 1:12.6232 SS 00.5925
17 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:12.6687 SS 00.6380
18 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:12.6821 SS 00.6514
19 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 1:12.6968 SS 00.6661
20 McHitch Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:12.8198 SS 00.7891
21 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:12.8501 SS 00.8194
22 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 1:13.0122 SS 00.9815
23 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:13.0976 SS 01.0669
24 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:13.2987 SS 01.2680
25 Repair Management Aust Racing Alex Rullo Holden Commodore VF 1:13.4398 SS 01.4091
26 Repair Management Aust Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 1:13.5707 SS 01.5400

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