Jamie Whincup has led Shane van Gisbergen to an all-Red Bull Holden Racing Team front row for the second day in succession at the OTR SuperSprint.
Whincup (#1 ZB Commodore) rolled out the fastest lap of the weekend, and therefore the Supercars practice record at The Bend Motorsport Park, when he produced a 1:48.6498s on his first flyer of Armor All Qualifying for Race 23.
Van Gisbergen was second-fastest by 0.6726s at the time in the #97 ZB Commodore and while he improved on his final run, when Whincup did not, the New Zealander still fell 0.4017s short.
“It’s a tough place around here,” said Whincup.
“(David) Cauchi (engineer) and the crew made the car better today, and I got the most out of it, plus a little bit of a tow off my team-mate as well which resulted in a 48, so I’m very, very happy.
“I’m a little bit gutted after yesterday,” he added in reference to having to stack in pit lane under Safety Car.
“We worked so hard to get a result and then someone robbed the till halfway through the race and we ended up in P4.
“So (there was) a little bit of anger there, so wanted to come out strong today.”
The 20-minute session ran to something of a template across the 28-car field with all starting on new tyres and most making three single-lap efforts at a quick time.
The top four of Whincup, van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes, and James Courtney remained unchanged through the second runs, when Scott McLaughlin went to fifth but still 1.0347s off the pace.
Tim Slade jumped from 15th to third on the grid just before the chequered flag and the #14 Freightliner ZB Commodore will start alongside fellow South Australian Scott Pye (#25 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) on Row 2.
Michael Caruso moved up six positions to fifth with the chequers out and is set to line up alongside Lowndes after the #888 Autobarn ZB Commodore went no quicker than on Lap 1.
Courtney (#25 ZB Commodore) ended up seventh in the second of the Walkinshaw Andretti United entries, Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore) was eighth, and Race 22 runner-up Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Nissan Altima) ninth.
McLaughlin will round out the top 10 having gone no faster in his third run in the #17 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon.
“We thought we made some gains, the car felt better, (but I) just didn’t improve over the session so it’s what it is,” said the championship leader.
“We’re 10th and we’ll just have to fight on from there.
“I felt the lap was okay, but I just didn’t get that gain that we probably looked for on a green tyre normally. Bit of head scratching. We’ll look at it and build together as a squad.”
David Reynolds (#9 Erebus ZB Commodore) will start 12th, one position ahead of Fabian Coulthard (#12 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon).
Tickford Racing’s best was Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon) in 14th while Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon) will start this afternoon’s 200km affair from 24th.
Wildcard Macauley Jones (#4 DrillPro ZB Commodore) qualified 20th, 1.6861s back from Whincup’s early benchmark.
Aside from a seemingly smaller number of spins and other off-track excursions, there was a notable incident between Garth Tander and Richie Stanaway in the final five minutes.
Stanaway appeared to nudge the #33 Wilson Security ZB Commodore through Turn 9/Turn 10 and Tander looked to move towards the #56 Rabble.Club FGX Falcon further around the circuit.
Tander will start 18th and Stanaway, in the fourth Tickford Ford, 27th.
Race 23 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship (41 laps) starts at 1340 local time/1410 AEST.
Results: Supercars Race 23 Armor All Qualifying
|1||1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.6498RS|
|2||97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.0515 S||00.4017|
|3||14 Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.3326 S||00.6828|
|4||2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.4152 S||00.7654|
|5||23 Industrial Athlete Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:49.5336 S||00.8838|
|6||888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.5564 S||00.9066|
|7||25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.5622 S||00.9124|
|8||99 Erebus Motorsport||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.5774 S||00.9276|
|9||15 Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:49.6589 S||01.0091|
|10||17 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:49.6845 S||01.0347|
|11||7 Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:49.6957 S||01.0459|
|12||9 Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.7013 S||01.0515|
|13||12 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:49.7324 S||01.0826|
|14||6 Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:49.8696 S||01.2198|
|15||8 X-Convenience – Mobil Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.8853 S||01.2355|
|16||230 Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:49.9031 S||01.2533|
|17||5 The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:49.9457 S||01.2959|
|18||33 Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.0924 S||01.4426|
|19||19 Tekno Autosport||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.2835 S||01.6337|
|20||4 DrillPro Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.3359 S||01.6861|
|21||78 Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:50.3797 S||01.7299|
|22||18 Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.4713 S||01.8215|
|23||21 Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.4792 S||01.8294|
|24||55 Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:50.6633 S||02.0135|
|25||34 Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.8774 S||02.2276|
|26||42 Arcoplate Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||1:51.1777 S||02.5279|
|27||56 RABBLE.club Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:51.1899 S||02.5401|
|28||35 Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore VF||1:52.0456 S||03.3958|