Scott McLaughlin has taken Armor All Pole Position by an even bigger margin over front row starting team-mate Fabian Coulthard than he did the day before at Phillip Island.
The two Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustangs were separated by 0.6365s after Qualifying for Race 10 of the season, with Chaz Mostert almost a tenth further back in a repeat of the top three on the grid a day earlier.
Anton De Pasquale was Holden’s best in fourth position while the Red Bull Holden Racing Team entries of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup qualified seventh and 10th respectively after both came from Part 1 of the knockout session.
McLaughlin needed only one hot lap in the final stanza to blaze to a 1:29.5422s before stepping out of the #17 Mustang, safe in the knowledge he had secured an eighth straight pole position around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
While he was slower than in the Saturday qualifying session, his margin over the #12 Mustang of Coulthard was 0.0543s greater again, while Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) was a little closer to the DJR Team Penske pair.
“It was awesome, the car was again just as good as yesterday,” said McLaughlin.
“The wind has changed a bit so it makes the track a little bit slower; the wind’s such a variable around here.
“Well done to everyone at Shell V-Power Racing, car was awesome and just can’t wait for the race.”
Coulthard and Mostert, meanwhile, had words after the session due to the latter feeling aggrieved about being baulked by the former.
“He had a bit of a whinge about me impeding him on his lap,” said Coulthard.
“I saw him, I went hard right, but the apex is the blue and white kerb on the inside of the track, not the white line.
“It looked like to me that he just simply out-braked himself.”
Mostert explained, “He didn’t hold me up, but when you’re going through Turn 3, fifth gear on the limiter and you see a car still weaving a little bit up the road, you don’t know the car behind that the car in front has actually seen you.
“When you get to about a hundred kay, maybe a hundred and fifty kay quicker than the car in front, it’s generally not going to stop if they haven’t seen you.
“Just one of those things. I’ll just have a whinge about it and we’ll get on about it.”
De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore) was just 0.0002s slower than Mostert, and the General’s only representative on the first three rows as Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) and Will Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang) took fifth and sixth respectively.
Van Gisbergen was a full second away from McLaughlin in the #97 ZB Commodore after waiting until the final few minutes to set his only flyer in Part 3.
Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore), like McLaughlin, exited his car before the session was over but he was 1.3061s slower than the championship leader with nothing else to gain.
“Sweet and sour, obviously a big improvement on yesterday to be in the (top) 10,” said Whincup.
“We only had one set of tyres because we used them all up to try to get there.
“We found a rock then and it looks like a rock that’s got some gold in it. Not a hundred percent sure but we certainly found a gain then which was great.”
Between the Triple Eight Race Engineering entries were Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing) in Whincup’s old #35 ZB Commodore and James Courtney (#22 Mobil 1 Mega ZB Commodore).
Rick Kelly was knocked out of the Part 2 top 10 by Courtney and the #15 Castrol Altima is set to share Row 6 with the #8 7-Eleven ZB Commodore of Nick Percat.
Race 9 podium finisher Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima) took 13th on the grid alongside the man who impressed in Practice 4, James Golding (#34 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), while David Reynolds (#9 Erebus ZB Commodore) was only 16th.
Reynolds will start alongside Scott Pye (#200 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore), who was knocked out of the top four in Part 1 of the session by Kelly.
Whincup had been the last driver to make it through to the second part of qualifying having been just under a tenth of a second faster than Pye.
Mark Winterbottom will start from 19th in the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore, a position behind the man with whom he effectively swapped seats in the off-season, Lee Holdsworth (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang).
The WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint will draw to a close with Race 10 of the season, a 45-lapper totalling 200km, from 1415 local time/AEST.
Results: Armor All Qualifying for Race 10
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:29.5422|
|2||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.1787||0:00.6365|
|3||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.2772||0:00.7350|
|4||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.2774||0:00.7352|
|5||6||Monster Energy Racing Team||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.3536||0:00.8114|
|6||23||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.3808||0:00.8386|
|7||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.5526||0:01.0104|
|8||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.6512||0:01.1090|
|9||22||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.7926||0:01.2504|
|10||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.8483||0:01.3061|
|11||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:30.9520||Part 2|
|12||8||Brad Jones Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.0314||Part 2|
|13||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:31.2478||Part 2|
|14||34||Boost Mobile Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.4622||Part 2|
|15||200||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.0300||Part 1|
|16||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.0910||Part 1|
|17||33||Boost Mobile Racing||Richie Stanaway||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.1056||Part 1|
|18||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:31.2861||Part 1|
|19||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.3860||Part 1|
|20||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.5040||Part 1|
|21||3||RABBLE.club Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||1:31.5159||Part 1|
|22||21||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.6205||Part 1|
|23||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:31.7594||Part 1|
|24||19||Truck Assist TEKNO Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.8194||Part 1|