Whincup pips McLaughlin to pole for Race 16 in Darwin

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has come from a provisional 13th to beat Scott McLaughlin by 0.06s in the Top 15 Shootout which finalises the grid for Supercars Championship Race 16 in Darwin.

Whincup recorded the fastest lap of the CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint weekend thus far by driving his #88 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore to a 1:06.1381s around Hidden Valley Raceway.

McLaughlin came eight cars later and all but matched his Triple Eight rival through the lap, but was 0.0633s away all told in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang.

Mark Winterbottom was last man onto the circuit but dropped the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore into the gutter on the outside of the Turn 10/Turn 11 complex and finished seventh-fastest.

“We were genuinely P13 in Part B and then we tuned the car up for the Shootout and she was much better,” said Whincup.

“I’m very happy to get the pole.

“The car was very good and I got the most out of it. Maybe we were gifted a tenth or so by the cloud cover but I’ve been on the other end of that plenty of times so you take one when it comes.”

James Courtney put the #44 Boost Mobile Mustang into third and is set to start Race 16 from alongside Tickford Racing team-mate Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), while Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) ended up 11th.

Whincup was deep into Turn 1 and set the then-fastest split in each intermediate, with only Courtney subsequently bettering him in the second sector of the race track.

McLaughlin was no more than 0.0520s away from #88 in any one of those sectors, that being the second, having been just 0.0007s slower in the third and 0.0106s in the first.

Courtney drove his Mustang to a 1:06.4016s which left him eight spots up on a provisional 11th, while Waters went from seventh to fourth with a 1:06.4567s.

Their team-mate Lee Holdsworth was best of those on used tyres in taking the #5 Truck Assist Mustang to a 1:06.4857s, fifth all up and faster than he had done in provisional qualifying.

Anton De Pasquale wound up sixth from a provisional ninth after clocking a 1:06.4923s with used fronts on the #99 Penrite ZB Commodore.

Winterbottom looked on for third spot before he found himself slightly wide of the ideal line as he dropped back down the hill and broke the beam at 1:06.4969s.

He will share Row 4 with team-mate Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), who also lost ground in the third sector in setting a 1:06.5158s.

Nick Percat logged a 1:06.5278s having also dropped a wheel off through the slalom section in the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore.

The Brad Jones Racing driver also reported getting wet from his helmet hose through the first sector.

Bryce Fullwood kicked up the dirt as he exited Turn 14 to start his hot lap, with a 1:06.5398s in the #2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore good enough for 10th.

Van Gisbergen gave up ground to Whincup in the first sector before setting a 1:06.5931s all told, meaning a start of 11th.

Chaz Mostert got the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore slightly loose through Turn 1 on his way to a 1:06.6171s which puts him 12th on the grid.

Andre Heimgartner was 13th with a 1:06.7198s in the #7 Ned Mustang and Fabian Coulthard dropped to 14th from a provisional third with a slow second sector and a 1:06.7550s all told in the #12 Shell V-Power Mustang.

Rounding out the 15 was the second man to start the shootout, Jack Le Brocq, who set a 1:06.8084s with used tyres on the #55 Supercheap Auto Mustang, which he dropped over the edge of the race track in finishing his lap.

Qualifying for Race 16

David Reynolds missed out on progression to the Top 15 Shootout having stayed in pit lane after being among the initial 16 drivers on the race track in Part 2 of Qualifying for Race 16.

He had been shuffled back from 12th after that first run to 15th before Mostert lifted himself from 16th to 12th just prior to the chequered flag, consigning the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore to 16th on the grid.

Row 9 of the grid will be Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Mustang) alongside Macauley Jones (#3 CoolDrive ZB Commodore), with the top 20 rounded out by Alex Davison (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore) and Zane Goddard (#34 Unit Racing ZB Commodore).

Winterbottom was quickest in the second 10-minute stanza, his 1:06.2573s narrowly slower than Team 18 team-mate Pye had gone in Practice 1 and McLaughlin in Practice 2, but slightly better than ‘Frosty’ himself had been across those sessions.

McLaughlin was fifth in Part 2 of Qualifying with a 1:06.4346s while reusing the tyres he rolled out on in in the first segment, taking advantage of the changeable cloud cover over the circuit.

Going out after Part 1 of the session, in 21st to 24th respectively, were Garry Jacobson (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore), Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), Todd Hazelwood (#14 Brut ZB Commodore), and Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore).

McLaughlin was quickest in that hit-out with a 1:06.2958s and Pye second on a 1:06.3827s, the latter having been fastest among the 17 who went out when the session began.

Race 16 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts this afternoon at 13:50 local time/14:20 AEST.

Results: Qualifying/Top 15 Shootout for Race 16, CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1381  
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 1:06.2014 0:00.0633
3 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:06.4016 0:00.2635
4 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:06.4567 0:00.3186
5 5 Truck Assist Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:06.4857 0:00.3476
6 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.4923 0:00.3542
7 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.4969 0:00.3588
8 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5158 0:00.3777
9 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5278 0:00.3897
10 2 Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5398 0:00.4017
11 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5931 0:00.4550
12 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.6171 0:00.4790
13 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:06.7198 0:00.5817
14 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 1:06.7550 0:00.6169
15 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:06.8084 0:00.6703
16 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.7799 Part 2
17 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Ford Mustang GT 1:06.7992 Part 2
18 3 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.8395 Part 2
19 19 Local Legends Racing Alex Davison Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.8441 Part 2
20 34 UNIT Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.9979 Part 2
21 35 Yellow Cover Racing Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.9407 Part 1
22 22 Team SYDNEY Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0080 Part 1
23 14 Brut Military Grade Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.1311 Part 1
24 4 SCT Motor Sports Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.2911 Part 1

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