Shane van Gisbergen will be last man out in the Armor All Top 10 Shootout for Race 27 after a relatively early fast lap in qualifying on the Gold Coast.
Van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) was on-track and pushing while most of his rivals were back in pit lane at the end of their second runs and did back-to-back fastest laps to set provisional pole at 1:10.1937s.
It left him one position ahead of the man who took the championship lead off him the day before, Scott McLaughlin.
“There’s a few there and the track was getting better and better throughout the session so probably could have improved a little bit in the last one,” said van Gisbergen, who sat out the last five minutes of the session.
“Now I’ve got to just not stuff up the Shootout. Focus on that, keep between the lines and have a good run.”
McLaughlin was the lone ranger at the top as the only non-Triple Eight entry in the top four.
The Race 26 pole-sitter provisionally qualified second-fastest at 0.1327s off the pace in the #17 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon.
His lap edged Jamie Whincup (#1 Triple Eight ZB Commodore) back a position and while Whincup subsequently improved, he stayed third.
The 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars champion revealed that he was actually affected by a power steering problem during the session.
“I think I dropped half the power steering in that one, couldn’t really maximise chicanes… I was hanging on hard,” said Whincup.
“Just the grip and the binding up that these cars get through the first and second chicane is huge, but we got through and into the (top) 10.
“But we’re not worried about set-up at the moment; all focus is on trying to get the (Steering) rack right because if it doesn’t improve I think it will be a bit of a race stopper.”
Craig Lowndes (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore) was fourth, while Race 26 winner Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon) used three sets of new tyres to make sure of his place in the Shootout in fifth.
The two Boost Mobile entries of James Courtney (#25 ZB Commodore) and Scott Pye (#2 ZB Commodore) followed on the timing screen, from David Reynolds (#9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore), Tim Slade (#14 Freightliner ZB Commodore), and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon).
Fabian Coulthard was hampered by engine problems in the #12 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon and while he made a valiant effort, the New Zealander fell only 0.0031s and one position short of the top 10.
“I had my own Top 10 Shootout in that 20-minute session,” quipped Coulthard.
“It is what it is, mechanical, had a big misfire, car was on seven cylinders so not a hell of a lot I could have done with that.
“Hopefully we can get some sort of result for the guys; they work very hard on my car so it will be awesome to be able to repay them.”
There was an early red flag when Jack Le Brocq stopped up a run-off road in the #19 Tekno Autosports ZB Commodore, which will start last of the 26 cars this afternoon.
The Armor All Top 10 Shootout for the final race of the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 is scheduled for 1140 local time/1240 AEDT.
Results: Armor All Qualifying for Race 27
|1||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.1937|
|2||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.3264||0:00.1327|
|3||1||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.4444||0:00.2507|
|4||888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.6652||0:00.4715|
|5||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.7396||0:00.5459|
|6||25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.7582||0:00.5645|
|7||2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.7701||0:00.5764|
|8||9||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.7749||0:00.5812|
|9||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.8804||0:00.6867|
|10||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.9815||0:00.7878|
|11||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.9846||0:00.7909|
|12||18||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.9944||0:00.8007|
|13||8||Alliance Truck Parts Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.9963||0:00.8026|
|14||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.0110||0:00.8173|
|15||33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.0146||0:00.8209|
|16||23||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:11.1141||0:00.9204|
|17||99||Erebus Motorsport||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.1540||0:00.9603|
|18||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:11.1741||0:00.9804|
|19||34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.2103||0:01.0166|
|20||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:11.3140||0:01.1203|
|21||230||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.3176||0:01.1239|
|22||21||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.4901||0:01.2964|
|23||56||RABBLE.club Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.5166||0:01.3229|
|24||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore VF2||1:11.7308||0:01.5371|
|25||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:12.0493||0:01.8556|
|26||19||Tekno Autosports||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB|