McLaughlin on pole for Race 11, RBHRT misses top 10
Scott McLaughlin has qualified on pole for Race 11 of the Supercars Championship while both Red Bull Holden Racing Team cars missed the top 10.
McLaughlin, Cameron Waters, Fabian Coulthard, and Mark Winterbottom make for DJRTP-Tickford first and second rows on the grid.
Shane van Gisbergen could only manage 12th and Jamie Whincup 14th as they failed to progress past the second, 10-minute part of Armor All Qualifying.
Van Gisbergen’s #97 ZB Commodore looked particularly loose while Whincup had a moment almost immediately when he ran wide onto the concrete apron at Turn 4 on his first flyer.
The defending champion was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.
“We’re not really sure what’s going on,” admitted Whincup.
“(There’s) a lot of grip out there and we didn’t really maximise the grip. We’ve got some work to do.
“I’ll have to have a look at the sector times; the car didn’t feel that bad, just not quite quick enough.
“(It is a) Short lap, you only need to lose a little bit and you’re out of the (top) 10.”
McLaughlin had no such trouble in an extremely tight fight for pole.
He rolled out a 0:54.7742s on his first fast lap in the #17 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon only to be pipped by Waters moments later by 0.0619s.
The 2017 qualifying master returned the favour on his second run, going 0.0726s faster than the Monster Energy FGX Falcon but still feeling unsatisfied.
“It’s nice (but) That one I absolutely made a meal of it,” said McLaughlin.
“I didn’t give myself a big enough kick up the backside after (an error in) practice so I need to go back and look at it.
“Bit annoyed with myself; I felt like we could have done that on the first set.”
Waters did not improve at his second attempt but was a similarly tight margin ahead of Coulthard.
Winterbottom (The Bottle-O Racing FGX Falcon) missed the inside of the second row by even less at a split of just 0.0038s to Car #12.
Tim Slade (Freightliner ZB Commodore) was the only Holden in the top six and will share Row 3 with another Tickford man in Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon).
David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore) came all the way from Part 1 of qualifying, using four sets of tyres in light of forecasts of rain on Sunday, to qualify seventh, two positions ahead of team-mate Anton De Pasquale (Erebus Thermosphere ZB Commodore).
Craig Lowndes (Autobarn ZB Commodore) was eighth and Will Davison (Milwaukee FGX Falcon) 10th, the latter not appearing in Part 3 as he opted to save tyre life.
Scott Pye was the first of those who missed the final 10 minutes but still qualified 10 positions higher than James Courtney in the sister Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore, who gambled and lost on using only one set of new tyres.
Simona de Silvestro fell just short of equalling her personal best qualification in Supercars, set during the corresponding event last year, and will take up 15th on the grid in the Team Harvey Norman Nissan Altima.
She was still the best of the Nissan Motorsport quartet, with Rick Kelly last and his Castrol Racing Altima now undergoing an engine change ahead of Race 11.
Garth Tander qualified 20th on home soil in the Wilson Security GRM ZB Commodore.
Race 11 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship takes place over 50 laps from 1445 local time/1645 AEST.
Results: Armor All Race 11 Qualifying
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.6397*SS|
|2||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.7123 SS||00.0726 Q3|
|3||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.7280 SS||00.0883 Q3|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.7318 SS||00.0921 Q3|
|5||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||0:54.8034 SS||00.1637 Q3|
|6||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.8639 SS||00.2242 Q3|
|7||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||0:54.8837 SS||00.2440 Q3|
|8||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||0:54.8974 SS||00.2577 Q3|
|9||Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.2732 SS||00.6335 Q3|
|10||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.9247 SS||00.2850 Q3 (Time set in Q2)|
|11||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.0250 SS||00.3853 Q2|
|12||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.0597 SS||00.4200 Q2|
|13||Tekno Autosport||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.0816 SS||00.4419 Q2|
|14||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.0995 SS||00.4598 Q2|
|15||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||0:55.2034 SS||00.5637 Q2|
|16||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.7084 SS||01.0687 Q2|
|17||MEGA Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.2538 SS||00.6141 Q2|
|18||Blackwoods Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.2559 SS||00.6162 Q1|
|19||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||0:55.2711 SS||00.6314 Q1|
|20||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.3015 SS||00.6618 Q1|
|21||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.3423 SS||00.7026 Q1|
|22||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.3812 SS||00.7415 Q1|
|23||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||0:55.3889 SS||00.7492 Q1|
|24||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.4884 SS||00.8487 Q1|
|25||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.5560 SS||00.9163 Q1|
|26||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||0:55.6873 SS||01.0476 Q1|