Scott McLaughlin rebounded from the disappointment of his display in Race 17 by extending his pole position streak in qualifying for Race 18 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
McLaughlin produced a perfect recovery from Saturday’s dramas to post a 1:28.22s effort, lowering the qualifying record he set yesterday.
The DJR Team Penske driver moved to the top of the times early in the 20 minute session before going on to better the lap by a tenth.
McLaughlin’s 30th career Supercars pole has now equalled Jamie Whincup’s record of most poles in a season which stands at 13.
“It’s awesome. It’s only the first half of the job but after yesterday I was pretty disappointed with myself and I just owed to the team to come out and try and smash them and I just want to go out there and finish he last half of the job,” said McLaughlin.
“I just had a big focus. Basically once the penalty was laid down, I just wanted to get on with things and knew yesterday was done.”
Prodrive’s Chaz Mostert emerged as McLaughlin’s nearest rival just 0.13s adrift of the championship leader.
Jamie Whincup will start from third on the grid in the #88 Red Bull Holden alongside his team-mate Shane van Gisbergen.
Race 17 winner Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) was fifth fastest while Michael Caruso impressed to claim sixth in the #23 Nissan Altima.
Mark Winterbottom (Prodrive) was seventh despite being involved in a clash with Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander at Turn 2.
The contact resulted in Tander, who was on an out lap, being spun around after he drove across the front of Winterbottom’s Ford, damaging the front right of the car.
“Everyone always thinks it’s someone else’s fault, so I could have backed off and gone through (Turn) 2 and compromised my lap but I had the right to have a go at my lap,” said a frustrated Winterbottom.
“I’ve got my headlights on, and he comes out of the pits, so a logical reason would be for that guy to get out of the way for the faster one.
“That’s my line through there and it’s just one of those things, so it ruined my run.
“I had a bad couple of outings because of it, he had a bad run, so you both get compromised but he blames me, I sort of think it’s his fault, it’s one of those things.
“It just bemuses you sometimes when they walk up and you expect them to say something and they come out with something else but whatever, it is one of those things so it compromised me.
“I still got up to seventh, but the run was not as good as it should have been, so we’ve got race tape trying to make the car stay together, so should have been further up but anyway, it is what it is.”
The Brad Jones Racing duo of Nick Percat and Tim Slade and Jason Bright completed the top 10.
Stewards are due to investigate an incident involving Will and Alex Davison.
The latter, driving for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, had to take evasive action, on a flying lap, to avoid clattering into the rear of the Will Davison Tekno Autosports Commodore, who had just exited the pits.
“Even though it probably didn’t affect our result that much, it’s still frustrating because we’re trying our best,” said Alex Davison.
“We’re trying to make up every spot that we can, and tyre deg’s so high around here that if you miss that run on the first lap, you’re session’s basically done.
“I thought he’d seen me so it looked like he’d stayed left and I didn’t want to abort and then he jinked right, so it’s one of those things.
“To be honest, if it wasn’t old Lightning in the way, there’s two Triple Eight cars that would have been in the way because they were on the racing line too.
“Look, I was guilty of it at Ipswich, it happened to us yesterday, we didn’t even mention it because we’ve got bigger fish to fry probably, a little bit frustrated then, I hope they didn’t play the radio over the television! Anyway, we’ll push on, all good.”
Will Davison said he had no idea that his older brother was approaching, accepting fault for the incident.
“It is our bad we have got to be onto that stuff but I had no idea he was there,” said Will Davison.
“It shouldn’t happen I got the call as he was going through the grass.
“It is pretty dangerous, there is no excuse it was just not good enough.”
Race 18 is scheduled to start at 1400 AEST.
Results: ARMOR ALL Qualifying for Race 18
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.2259R|
|2||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.3593||0:00.1334|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.5348||0:00.3089|
|4||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.6090||0:00.3831|
|5||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.7702||0:00.5443|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:28.8046||0:00.5787|
|7||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.8706||0:00.6447|
|8||ACDelco Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.9192||0:00.6933|
|9||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.9565||0:00.7306|
|10||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.9815||0:00.7556|
|11||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.0166||0:00.7907|
|12||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.0189||0:00.7930|
|13||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:29.0460||0:00.8201|
|14||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.0597||0:00.8338|
|15||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:29.0655||0:00.8396|
|16||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.1110||0:00.8851|
|17||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:29.1204||0:00.8945|
|18||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.1653||0:00.9394|
|19||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.2745||0:01.0486|
|20||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.3135||0:01.0876|
|21||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.4766||0:01.2507|
|22||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:29.5750||0:01.3491|
|23||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.6305||0:01.4046|
|24||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.7219||0:01.4960|
|25||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.1769||0:01.9510|
|26||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:30.2604||0:02.0345|