Scott McLaughlin has beaten Jamie Whincup to pole position for Race 13 of the Supercars Championship at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown.
Whincup was on top with a 1:06.9918s in his Red Bull Holden Racing Team entry when Scott McLaughlin drove the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang to a 1:06.8589s.
With only Shane van Gisbergen to come, and the Triple Eight driver having already used all of the sets of hard tyres available to him for Saturday’s Qualifying and Top 15 Shootout, McLaughlin’s lap effectively settled matters at the very head of the starting grid.
The second row is also a DJR Team Penske-Triple Eight Race Engineering affair of sorts with Fabian Coulthard third-fastest in the shootout and Mark Winterbottom fourth in Team 18’s Irwin Tools entry.
Van Gisbergen ended up ninth while Chaz Mostert was the hard luck story of proceedings with a tailshaft failure in the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore consigning him to 20th on the grid after being fastest in Practice 1 and second-fastest in Practice 2.
Whincup, who crashed his #88 ZB Commodore in practice, was only a provisional eighth before being the first man into the ‘sixes’ in the shootout.
Coulthard (#12 Shell V-Power Mustang) went out third-last and was 0.0110s slower than Whincup in the first sector, 0.0388s faster in the second, and 0.0397s slower than #88 all told with a 1:07.0315s.
McLaughlin was slower than Whincup to the first sector but more than made up for that with the fastest second and third sectors, setting a lap 0.1329s quicker than the previous fast man in total.
Mark Winterbottom moved up to the second row from a provisional ninth with a 1:07.1661s in the #18 ZB Commodore, while his former team-mate in Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) recorded a 1:07.2441s to earn fifth on the grid.
The Penrite Racing entries will start sixth and seventh after Anton De Pasquale set a 1:07.2963s in the #99 ZB Commodore and David Reynolds logged a 1:07.3815s in Car #9, having dropped the right-hand wheels off the edge of the track exiting the final corner.
James Courtney, who escaped a Practice 2 prang largely unscathed, moved from a provisional 14th to eighth on the grid with a 1:07.4598s in the #44 Boost Mobile Mustang.
Van Gisbergen’s shootout time was a 1:07.4635s, which sees him joined on the fifth row by Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), who clocked a 1:07.4809s.
Todd Hazelwood (#14 Brut ZB Commodore) qualified a provisional sixth but dropped to 11th even if his 1:07.5558s, set on used tyres, was less than a tenth slower than his provisional qualifying time.
Nick Percat was next driver after Hazelwood, also on used tyres, and almost matched his Brad Jones Racing team-mate with a 1:07.5896s in the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore.
Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner similarly came up just shy of his immediate predecessor in the session with a 1:07.6070s in the #7 Ned Mustang.
Rick Kelly will take up 14th for at the start after clocking a 1:07.7363s on used tyres in the #15 Castrol Mustang.
Jack Le Brocq was first on-track for the shootout, with used tyres on the #55 Supercheap Auto Mustang, and set a 1:07.7819s after an untidy run through the slalom section at the end of the lap.
Qualifying for Race 13
Van Gisbergen was fastest in both 10-minute stanzas which preceded the shootout, although he only made his passage safe right at the end of each.
He was 14th when he took another set of tyres and set a 1:07.1605s in Part 2 of Qualifying, and outside the cut before clocking a 1:07.6241s on a lap started just seconds before the chequered flag in Part 1.
As it turns out, van Gisbergen would have just made it to the one-lap dash without that final lap, but Lee Holdsworth was subsequently knocked out by Percat with the chequers out.
Holdsworth (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) will therefore start Race 13 of the season from 16th, ahead of Alex Davison (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore), Jake Kostecki (#34 Unit Racing ZB Commodore), and Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore).
Ironically, van Gisbergen nearly missed progression past Part 1 thanks to his Triple Eight team-mate, Whincup.
The seven-time champion was late to start due to his earlier mishap and was then held in the shed a little longer still, in the hope of finding a break in traffic.
Just as Whincup went out, with around five minutes remaining, Mostert pulled off after encountering a vibration and then losing gears in Car #25.
The Walkinshaw Andretti United pilot triggered a red flag having had to park just inside the exit of Turn 1 and while he got through in 11th even with his second-best lap time, he is set to start 20th later today having been unable to take part in the rest of the session.
Once the incident was cleared, Whincup blemished his first flying lap and the second was only good enough for ninth at that point, out of danger but bumping van Gisbergen to 21st.
The New Zealander’s rescue job knocked Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) out of the session, meaning the local will share Row 11 of the starting grid with Macauley Jones (#3 CoolDrive ZB Commodore).
Garry Jacobson (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore) and Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore) bring up the rear for the first 38-lapper of the weekend.
Race 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts this afternoon at 15:30 local time/16:00 AEST.
Results: Qualifying/Top 15 Shootout for Race 13, BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:06.8589||H|
|2||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:06.9918||H||0:00.1329|
|3||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.0315||H||0:00.1726|
|4||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.1661||H||0:00.3072|
|5||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.2441||H||0:00.3852|
|6||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.2963||H||0:00.4374|
|7||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.3815||H||0:00.5226|
|8||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.4598||H||0:00.6009|
|9||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.4635||H||0:00.6046|
|10||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.4809||H||0:00.6220|
|11||14||Brut Military Grade||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.5558||H||0:00.6969|
|12||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.5896||H||0:00.7307|
|13||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.6070||H||0:00.7481|
|14||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.7363||H||0:00.8774|
|15||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.7819||H||0:00.9230|
|16||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.6620||H||Part 2|
|17||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.8611||H||Part 2|
|18||34||UNIT Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.8703||H||Part 2|
|19||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.9337||H||Part 2|
|20||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.8767||H||Part 1|
|21||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.1158||H||Part 1|
|22||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.2085||H||Part 1|
|23||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.2308||H||Part 1|
|24||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.5796||H||Part 1|