RBHRT lockout in Race 12 qualifying, Penskes buried
Shane van Gisbergen has qualified on pole for Race 12 of the Supercars Championship at Barbagallo while both DJR Team Penske Falcons fell at the first hurdle.
In a remarkable first part of Armor All Qualifying under grey skies, none of the top four on the grid the day prior could make the top six cut-off.
Championship leader and yesterday’s race winner Scott McLaughlin gambled by using only one set of tyres which saw him fall short, leaving him 19th on the grid.
“I put my hand up, completely my fault,” admitted McLaughlin.
“Just chasing too much into the bowl (Turn 6), just locked the front and just went wide.
“I was on a pretty decent first sector. Put my hand up for that, we’ll learn from that and we’ll just have to fight through.
“We thought we might have been safe because the track was slow. It’s all hindsight, we want to save the tyre or whatever, but we’ve just got to be aggressive and have a go and see where we’re at.”
McLaughlin’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard took a second set of tyres on the #12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon to move up to seventh in the first 10-minute stanza and therefore 17th on the grid.
“I think we’re all a little bit surprised to be fair,” he said.
“I just had chronic front lock into Turn 1 which I haven’t had all weekend and I did my (fastest) time on my second lap.”
Coulthard will start next to the Bottle-O FGX Falcon of Mark Winterbottom and in front of his team-mate.
Cameron Waters, who started on the outside of the front row yesterday, could qualify the Monster Energy FGX Falcon only 22nd for Race 12.
Rain threatened to make proceedings even more dramatic when drops started falling midway through the final part of qualifying with Andre Heimgartner the fastest of five drivers to have set a time at that point.
It prompted the rest of the field to take to the circuit earlier than they might have liked and the rain was light enough for van Gisbergen to take the #97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore to pole position.
He will start alongside team-mate Jamie Whincup as the factory-backed Holdens went the opposite way to their chief Ford rivals relative to Saturday’s qualifying performance.
“It’s a massive change, conditions were very windy into the last corner and it made huge difference,” said van Gisbergen.
“Thanks to the team, we turned it around since Q3 yesterday. It’s an awesome turn around; cars are great. Looking forward to the race this afternoon.”
Chaz Mostert was the only Falcon driver to make the top 10, putting the Supercheap Auto-backed Tickford entry on the inside of the second row.
He will be joined by Plus Fitness Racing’s Heimgartner, who went faster again in the #7 Altima to secure fourth on the grid.
“It’s awesome and a great reward for all the boys,” said the Kiwi.
“Yesterday was a tough day for us, we really battled in the race and especially in qualifying so to come out today and be fast and sort of take that speed from practice is really good.
“Awesome to be on the second row and can’t wait for the race.”
Heimgartner is one of three Nissans in the top 10 with boss Rick Kelly (Castrol Racing) fifth and Michael Caruso (Drive Racing) eighth.
Sixth went to David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Commodore) and seventh to Nick Percat (Coregas Commodore), while Row 5 will be James Courtney (Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Commodore) and Jack Le Brocq (Tekno Commodore).
Tim Blanchard (Cooldrive Commodore) will start a season-high 11th alongside Brad Jones Racing team-mate Tim Slade (Freightliner Commodore).
Richie Stanaway was a career-best 14th as a solo driver in the Mega Falcon and will start on the outside of another Tickford-built Falcon in the form of Milwaukee Racing’s Will Davison.
Back at the rear of the field, former Bathurst 1000 and championship winners Craig Lowndes (Autobarn Commodore) and Garth Tander (Wilson Security GRM Commodore) will start from the 13th and final row of the grid.
Race 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship (83 laps) starts at 1415 local time/1615 AEST.
Results: Race 12 Qualifying
|1||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||0:54.9054*SS|
|2||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||0:54.9326 SS||00.0272 Q3|
|3||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:54.9891 SS||00.0837 Q3|
|4||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||0:55.0928 SS||00.1874 Q3|
|5||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||0:55.1397 SS||00.2343 Q3|
|6||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.2413 SS||00.3359 Q3|
|7||Blackwoods Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.3384 SS||00.4330 Q3|
|8||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||0:55.3882 SS||00.4828 Q3|
|9||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.5303 SS||00.6249 Q3|
|10||Tekno Autosport||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.8620 SS||00.9566 Q3|
|11||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.4125 SS||00.5071 Q2|
|12||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.4144 SS||00.5090 Q2|
|13||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.4461 SS||00.5407 Q2|
|14||MEGA Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.5885 SS||00.6831 Q2|
|15||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.5897 SS||00.6843 Q2|
|16||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.7174 SS||00.8120 Q2|
|17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.5205 SS||00.6151 Q1|
|18||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.5337 SS||00.6283 Q1|
|19||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.5971 SS||00.6917 Q1|
|20||Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.6451 SS||00.7397 Q1|
|21||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||0:55.6538 SS||00.7484 Q1|
|22||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.6931 SS||00.7877 Q1|
|23||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||0:55.8243 SS||00.9189 Q1|
|24||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:55.9971 SS||01.0917 Q1|
|25||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||0:56.0007 SS||01.0953 Q1|
|26||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||0:56.0413 SS||01.1359 Q1|