Scott McLaughlin has pipped Shell V-Power Racing team-mate Fabian Coulthard by 0.0153s to top the Armor All Top 10 Shootout for Race 16 at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown.
Coulthard was the big mover having qualified a provisional ninth earlier in the morning, and was in fact faster to the second sector than McLaughlin would ultimately go.
McLaughlin, however, was slower by only six thousandths in the first sector and three ten-thousandths in the second, before finding enough in the third to claim an 11th pole of the campaign in the #17 Mustang.
Coulthard had a very small moment in the first corner but still managed to roll out a 1:05.8412s in the #12 Mustang, while McLaughlin’s lap was a 1:05.8529s.
“That was a tough lap,” said McLaughlin.
“Fabs did an awesome job. I definitely think the track at the start was pretty good, and then obviously got hotter with new rubber and stuff, so to punch out a lap there was awesome. I think we’re looking good for the race.
The lockout is the sixth for DJR Team Penske in 2019.
“It’s great for the team, Shell V-Power Racing,” he added.
“To have two cars on the front row, where Fabs was to come up, and then for us to be one-two is fantastic. If we could do another one in the race it would be good.”
Coulthard said: “It was line ball. It could have gone either way.
“He’s (McLaughlin) been really good through Turn 10 all weekend and it’s probably been my little downfall.
“I was expecting to be up but coming onto the last corner was very line ball.
“Credit to all our guys. One-two, awesome start for the team; see what happens in the race.
“If I got pole, Scotty would be just as pumped as I am for him. I would have liked it to be reverse, but it wasn’t to be.”
David Reynolds all but matched Coulthard to the first sector but ended up third, one position worse off than when he started the session, in the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore.
Cameron Waters, who was fifth in the earlier 20-minute qualifying session, also virtually level-pegged with #12 to the first and second sectors before breaking the beam at 1:06.0196s in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.
Lee Holdsworth was first driver on track and had a tidy run to a 1:06.0619s, better than his qualifying time, in the #5 The Bottle-O Mustang, with the second Erebus entry of Anton De Pasquale (#99 ZB Commodore) to join him on Row 3.
Will Davison provisionally qualified sixth but looked to have gone backwards having had to run used tyres on the #23 Milwaukee Mustang, clocking a 1:06.1871s.
His damage was minimised when both neither Chaz Mostert nor Rick Kelly, who followed Davison and Waters onto the circuit, could knock off the 23Red entry.
Mostert, in the fourth of the Tickford entries (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) will start outside of Davison, while Kelly (#15 Castrol Altima) was ninth.
Mark Winterbottom failed to set a time after a right-front tyre failure carted his #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore off the road at Turn 1.
He crawled back to pit lane without taking the chequered flag.
Having won Race 15 an afternoon earlier, McLaughlin is still in contention for an unprecedented Triple Crown.
Race 16 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, scheduled for 70 laps/200km, will start at 1330 local time/1400 AEST.
Results: Armor All Top 10 Shootout Race 16
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:05.8259*SS|
|2||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:05.8412 SS||00.0153|
|3||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:05.9825 SS||00.1566|
|4||6||Monster Energy Racing Team||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:06.0196 SS||00.1937|
|5||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:06.0619 SS||00.2360|
|6||99||Penrite Racing||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:06.1826 SS||00.3567|
|7||23||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:06.1871 SS||00.3612|
|8||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||1:06.2242 SS||00.3983|
|9||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:06.2429 SS||00.4170|
|10||18||Irwin Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB|