Shane van Gisbergen left it until very late to take a provisional Armor All Pole Position for Race 18 of the Supercars Championship in Townsville.
The 2016 champion went 0.1747s faster than Scott McLaughlin after the chequered flag while Race 17 winner Jamie Whincup was third-fastest.
Fabian Coulthard was the biggest name to miss the cut for the Top 10 Shootout and only qualified the #12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon in 18th.
It seemed as though team-mate McLaughlin would be last out for the one-lap dash which will set the pointy end of the grid.
The #17 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon was fastest ahead of the final runs with a 1:12.4335s and McLaughlin was sent for a final effort.
He didn’t improve, but fellow New Zealander van Gisbergen did as he clocked a 1:12.2588s in the #97 Triple Eight ZB Commodore, advancing himself from third to first.
“It’s awesome,” said van Gisbergen.
“The work that has gone on the last few weeks, or the whole year, to make qualifying better has been good.
“Street circuits, we’re always good at so we need to keep that momentum going.
“(It’s) Awesome to finally get a good result; it’s not done yet, got the shootout to go, but the car felt amazing.”
McLaughlin said of his session, “The car is quite dance-y on the rear so it’s very slippery.
“I think the track is also very twitchy and stuff as well; we’ve tried to dial some turn into it, that’s what we lacked yesterday and have maybe gone a little bit too far.”
Whincup got up to second before dropping a position in the #1 Triple Eight ZB Commodore as a result of van Gisbergen’s time.
Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Nissan Altima) stayed in pit lane for the final minutes and only lost positions to the two Red Bull cars as he ended up fourth.
David Reynolds ran slightly off-sequence at the end as he provisionally qualified fifth in the #9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore, and Will Davison (#230 Milwaukee FGX Falcon) claimed sixth having messed up the final sector after what looked like being a faster lap at the end.
James Courtney came from mid-field ahead of the final flings to make the shootout in seventh position in the #25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore, one position ahead of Craig Lowndes (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore).
Scott Pye (#2 WAU ZB Commodore) was ninth and Nick Percat (#8 Dunlop ZB Commodore) also survived the cut.
Those left on the outer included Michael Caruso (#23 Drive Nissan Altima) in 11th, Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon) in 12th, and Mark Winterbottom (#5 The Bottle-O FGX Falcon) in 13th.
The two Wilson Security GRM entries of James Golding (#34 ZB Commodore) and Garth Tander (#33 ZB Commodore) finished 24th and 25th respectively.
Anton De Pasquale starts from last this afternoon after burying the #99 Erebus Motorsport ZB Commodore in the tyre wall at Turn 3 on his first flying lap, causing a red flag inside the first four minutes.
“Obviously it’s a mistake on my own so I’ve got to take one on the chin and try to work out this afternoon,” said the rookie.
“It will be a real long arvo starting from the back. I think my first sector was good and then didn’t make the end of the lap, so we’ll see what we have and hopefully have a good race.”
The starting grid for Race 18 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will be finalised with an Armor All Top 10 Shootout at 1355 local time/AEST.
Results: Supercars Race 18 Qualifying
|1||97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.2588*SS|
|2||17 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.4335 SS||00.1747|
|3||1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.4759 SS||00.2171|
|4||15 Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:12.4939 SS||00.2351|
|5||9 Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6686 SS||00.4098|
|6||230 Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.7161 SS||00.4573|
|7||25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7911 SS||00.5323|
|8||888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.8020 SS||00.5432|
|9||2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.8072 SS||00.5484|
|10||8 Dunlop Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.8350 SS||00.5762|
|11||23 Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:12.8366 SS||00.5778|
|12||55 Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.8497 SS||00.5909|
|13||5 The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.9278 SS||00.6690|
|14||7 Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:12.9411 SS||00.6823|
|15||14 Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.9440 SS||00.6852|
|16||78 Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:12.9585 SS||00.6997|
|17||18 Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.0012 SS||00.7424|
|18||12 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.0666 SS||00.8078|
|19||19 Tekno Autosport||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1097 SS||00.8509|
|20||6 Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.1526 SS||00.8938|
|21||56 RABBLE.club Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.1832 SS||00.9244|
|22||35 Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.2003 SS||00.9415|
|23||21 Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.2958 SS||01.0370|
|24||34 Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.4033 SS||01.1445|
|25||33 Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.4606 SS||01.2018|
|26||99 Erebus Penrite Racing||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB|