Supercars qualifying abandoned after heavy rain

Tom Howard

Saturday 4th November, 2017 - 11:12am

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Officials red flagged qualifying due to standing water at Pukekohe Park Raceway pic: Fox Sports

Treacherous wet conditions have forced Supercars officials to abandon qualifying for Race 23 at the ITM Auckland Super Sprint.

The 20 minute session was initially delayed by 18 minutes due to excessive standing water on the 2.91km Pukekohe Park Raceway following prolonged heavy rain this morning.

It was eventually abandoned almost an hour after its original scheduled start with the grid determined by combined practice times set on Friday.

Prodrive’s Cameron Waters claimed pole position from Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Holden) and Mark Winterbottom (Prodrive).

Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin will start from fourth ahead of Chaz Mostert (Prodrive) and van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden).

Officials said the newly resurfaced back straight between Turns 4 and 5 was the reason for the stoppage as several cars aquaplaned in a straight-line.

The session ran for just four minutes with only 12 cars setting times.

Shane van Gisbergen set the pace although the Kiwi and several others endured wild moments.

“The back straight is too new on the surface and it’s just so shiny and slippery,” said van Gisbergen, who set the fastest time before the red flag.

“I didn’t even get full throttle that lap … it was just stupid.”

The feeling was echoed by most of the pit lane with James Courtney declaring the surface like ‘ice’ while visibility was a major concern.

“For the majority of the track it wasn’t too bad, it’s just the back straight where they’ve resurfaced it. I think they’ve resurfaced it with ice,” said Courtney.

“Second gear and the thing’s aquaplaning and out of control. It’s pretty hairy.

“I think there was a car going slow, I think it was Shane,  and I didn’t even see it until the last second, nearly cleaned him up.

“It’s just that back section, you can’t see. You’re lucky to see the bonnet and the things aquaplaning, so it’s a bit hairy through that part. But we’re all big boys, we’ll press on.”

Teams have limited stock of wet tyres for the weekend with four sets in total for use at Pukekohe.

Results: Virgin Australian Supercars Championship ITM Auckland Super Sprint Combined Practice

Position Team Driver Car Time Gap
1 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:02.562
2 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:02.704 0.141
3 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:02.710 0.147
4 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:02.715 0.153
5 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:02.804 0.242
6 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:02.848 0.286
7 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:02.883 0.321
8 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:02.944 0.381
9 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 1:03.011 0.449
10 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:03.021 0.458
11 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:03.024 0.461
12 MEGA Racing Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG/X 1:03.041 0.478
13 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:03.057 0.494
14 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:03.097 0.535
15 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:03.110 0.548
16 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:03.136 0.573
17 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 1:03.143 0.580
18 Harley-Davidson Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:03.145 0.583
19 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Holden Commodore VF 1:03.152 0.589
20 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 1:03.263 0.701
21 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:03.270 0.707
22 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:03.583 1.021
23 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:03.627 1.065
24 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:03.702 1.140
25 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 1:03.788 1.225
26 TrailLite Racing Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VF 1:04.167 1.604

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