Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin have split the Sunday poles at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint but the latter will start Race 20 from 13th on the grid.
In a pair of sessions energised by changeable conditions and the championship leader’s relative struggles, Whincup qualified fastest for Race 20 with a 1:12.3105s while McLaughlin’s best was 0.3895s off the pace.
However, the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver bounced back in the latter 10-minute session with a 1:12.1793s to snatch pole from Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters by 0.0230s.
Whincup, also the Saturday pole-sitter, put his Red Bull Holden Racing Team entry on the outside of the second row for Race 21, next to the R&J Batteries ZB Commodore of Nick Percat.
In the day’s earlier race, the #88 ZB Commodore will be joined on the front row by Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert.
Fellow Red Bull HRT driver, Shane van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore), was seventh and then 13th in the two sessions.
Qualifying for Race 20
McLaughlin was fastest at the end of the first runs in Qualifying for Race 20 with a 1:12.7000s, ahead of Lee Holdsworth (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) at 0.0692s slower and Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) at almost as much further back.
However, the championship leader’s second run flyer was not especially tidy and he could only muster a 1:12.8459s.
The #17 Mustang was quickly shuffled down the timing screen as the rest crossed the control line, first by van Gisbergen’s 1:12.5271s before he was in turn usurped by Whincup’s 1:12.3105s.
Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliance Online ZB Commodore) grabbed second with a 1:12.4418s, and James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) demoted team-mate Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) another position when his 1:12.4997s beat the 1:12.5067s from Car #6.
Penrite Racing fills out the third row with David Reynolds (#9 ZB Commodore) inside of Anton De Pasquale (#99 ZB Commodore), ahead of van Gisbergen, Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), Percat (#8 ZB Commodore), and Holdsworth.
McLaughlin did not attempt a second straight flyer and was left 13th, alongside Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) and a row in front of the other DJR Team Penske entry of Coulthard (#12 Mustang).
Qualifying for Race 21
Heavy cloud became light rain for the start of the second hit-out, but McLaughlin still went faster than he had gone in the preceding session when he became the first driver to set a time, a 1:12.6053s.
Whincup knocked that off with a 1:12.2600s before Percat came through to clock a 1:12.2225s and the latter’s Brad Jones Racing team-mate, Todd Hazelwood (#14 Black Duck ZB Commodore), slotted into third on a 1:12.2792s.
McLaughlin was 12th after a slightly off-sequence Waters fired in a 1:12.2023s which put Car #6 onto provisional pole with a 1:12.2023s, but responded with what would be the fastest lap of the session shortly after.
“We haven’t really had a balance there; we thought we were there or thereabouts yesterday but we came out this morning and the car was sort of nowhere,” said the DJR Team Penske pilot.
“After that, we made a change, and geez it was hooked up in that second run.
“Really, really happy, we’ve got a nice balance now, which is nice because we can take it into next week knowing we’ve got a fast enough car to get pole. Pretty pumped with that one.”
Percat, Whincup, Hazelwood, and Reynolds were among those to not go for another run, and finished up third through sixth respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 were Holdsworth, Winterbottom, De Pasquale, and Mostert, with van Gisbergen 0.3504s off the pace and set to start inside of Courtney on the seventh row.
Coulthard will line up on the outside of Row 8, having been 0.4278s slower than his team-mate.
Race 20 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts at 13:05 local time/AEST.
Results: Qualifying for Race 20, NTI Townsville SuperSprint
|1||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.3105|
|2||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.4418||0:00.1313|
|3||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.4997||0:00.1892|
|4||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.5067||0:00.1962|
|5||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5112||0:00.2007|
|6||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5168||0:00.2063|
|7||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5271||0:00.2166|
|8||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.5312||0:00.2207|
|9||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5392||0:00.2287|
|10||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.5532||0:00.2427|
|11||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6487||0:00.3382|
|12||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6969||0:00.3864|
|13||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.7000||0:00.3895|
|14||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7036||0:00.3931|
|15||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.7692||0:00.4587|
|16||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7885||0:00.4780|
|17||14||Team Black Duck||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7889||0:00.4784|
|18||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.8239||0:00.5134|
|19||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.8612||0:00.5507|
|20||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.0734||0:00.7629|
|21||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1010||0:00.7905|
|22||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1228||0:00.8123|
|23||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.3895||0:01.0790|
|24||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.4513||0:01.1408|
Results: Qualifying for Race 21, NTI Townsville SuperSprint
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.1793|
|2||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.2023||0:00.0230|
|3||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.2225||0:00.0432|
|4||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.2600||0:00.0807|
|5||14||Team Black Duck||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.2792||0:00.0999|
|6||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.3021||0:00.1228|
|7||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.4204||0:00.2411|
|8||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.4245||0:00.2452|
|9||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.4293||0:00.2500|
|10||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.4297||0:00.2504|
|11||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.4311||0:00.2518|
|12||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5268||0:00.3475|
|13||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5297||0:00.3504|
|14||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.5699||0:00.3906|
|15||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.5878||0:00.4085|
|16||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.6071||0:00.4278|
|17||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6858||0:00.5065|
|18||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6906||0:00.5113|
|19||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.6917||0:00.5124|
|20||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7639||0:00.5846|
|21||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.8693||0:00.6900|
|22||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.9510||0:00.7717|
|23||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1121||0:00.9328|
|24||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.2035||0:01.0242|