Scott McLaughlin has reset his own qualifying lap record on his way to pole position for the night race at the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint.
McLaughlin beat the benchmark which he established at Sydney Motorsport Park just 20 days ago by clocking a 1:27.7428s in the Top 15 Shootout which finalised the starting grid for Race 10 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver will share the front row with the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Shane van Gisbergen following a shootout which rolled out in an unusual order due to divergent tyre strategies in the preceding knockout qualifying session.
McLaughlin (#17 Mustang) was only a provisional 11th and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) had been next to go for his shootout lap, almost matching the championship leader to the first sector but falling 0.2756s shy at the finish line.
Said the pole-sitter of the late afternoon conditions, “You always feel like this is happy hour now.
“You know you can go really fast and these times in these conditions and the car felt good, really comfortable with it on soft tyres.
“We need to make it a little bit better on the hard but, overall, really happy with it.”
Cameron Waters bettered his progression in the one-lap dash from three weeks ago, when he went from a provisional 14th to third, by going from a provisional 15th to third with a 1:28.0596s in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.
That was the fastest lap of the day to that point and proved a little too much for Jamie Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore), who followed Waters on the race track and bettered him in Sectors 2 and 3 but had given up too much in Sector 1.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver’s 1:28.1376s still stood up for fourth, while Lee Holdsworth (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) earned fifth on the grid from a provisional 12th with a 1:28.1604s.
Fabian Coulthard closed out the shootout on used soft tyres and went sixth-fastest on a 1:28.3859s, while Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) was seventh thanks to a 1:28.5133s.
Anton De Pasquale drove a #99 Penrite ZB Commodore on used soft tyres to a 1:28.7907s, putting him on the outside of Row 4.
Macauley Jones (#3 CoolDrive ZB Commodore) finished ninth with a 1:28.8023s and Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10 having lapped the Western Sydney circuit in 1:28.8464s.
Nick Percat (#8 Dunlop Super Dealer ZB Commodore) ended up 11th after being the penultimate shootout runner, on used soft tyres.
David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore) dropped from a provisional fourth to 12th with a 1:29.0381s on used softs, and Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) from a provisional fifth to 13th, but first of those on hard tyres at 1:29.4881s.
Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore) and Todd Hazelwood (#14 Brut ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 15 having also been on hard tyres.
Qualifying for Race 10
Coulthard qualified on provisional pole with soft compound tyres, having appeared to road a set at the end of Part 1 of Qualifying.
He was among six who used the softer rubber in the latter 10-minute stanza, which was effectively a one-lap dash in two parts.
Winterbottom, Fullwood, and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) went out when pit lane opened, all on hard tyres.
The former two got through but the latter found himself on the outside by just 0.0140s once the other 17 remaining cars completed their laps at the end of proceedings.
Waters was last of those who made the Top 15 Shootout, and Whincup was just 0.0052s faster again in 14th, both having used hard tyres.
Also out of the qualifying process at the second hurdle were James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), Garry Jacobson (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore), and Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Whisky Mustang).
Knocked out in Part 1 were Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Mustang), Alex Davison (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore), Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore), and Zane Goddard (#34 Unit ZB Commodore), who will start from 21st to 24th, respectively.
Kelly was edged from the top 20 right at the end when Jacobson elevated himself from 21st to 19th, meaning Reynolds was last of the survivors by just over a tenth of a second.
The top three in the segment of De Pasquale, Jones, and Pither used soft compound tyres to get through, and again in Part 2 according to timing.
Race 10 of the Supercars Championship starts under lights tonight at 18:25 local time/AEST.
Results: Qualifying/Top 15 Shootout for Race 10, Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:27.7428||S|
|2||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.0184||S||0:00.2756|
|3||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:28.0596||S||0:00.3168|
|4||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.1376||S||0:00.3948|
|5||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:28.1604||S||0:00.4176|
|6||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:28.3859||S||0:00.6431|
|7||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.5133||S||0:00.7705|
|8||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.7907||S||0:01.0479|
|9||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.8023||S||0:01.0595|
|10||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:28.8464||S||0:01.1036|
|11||8||Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:29.0100||S||0:01.2672|
|12||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:29.0381||S||0:01.2953|
|13||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:29.4881||H||0:01.7453|
|14||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.4538||H||0:02.7110|
|15||14||Brut Military Grade||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.8796||H||0:03.1368|
|16||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:29.8919||H||Part 2|
|17||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.0200||H||Part 2|
|18||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.2055||H||Part 2|
|19||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.7359||H||Part 2|
|20||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.7399||H||Part 2|
|21||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:30.5528||H||Part 1|
|22||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:30.7311||H||Part 1|
|23||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.3393||H||Part 1|
|24||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:31.5586||H||Part 1|