Holdsworth claims provisional pole as rain closes in on Bathurst

Lee Holdsworth

Lee Holdsworth has provisionally qualified on pole for the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in a session which was effectively cut slightly short due to rain.

Holdsworth had wheeled his Tickford Racing entry to a 2:04.0243s ahead of what would have been the all-out hot laps of the 40-minute session when light drops became full rain at the top of Mount Panorama.

As such, the #5 Truck Assist Mustang will be last out for tomorrow afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout which will finalise the starting grid for the Great Race.

There were arguably few surprise omissions from the top 10 despite the part which weather played in proceedings.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Shane van Gisbergen was second-quickest, one spot up on Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Scott McLaughlin in a top three covered by less than a tenth of a second.

Cameron Waters was the second of three Tickford Racing drivers to make the one-lap dash, the other being James Courtney in ninth spot.

Jamie Whincup ended up sixth and Fabian Coulthard seventh, while Nick Percat got through despite a shift cut drama in Brad Jones Racing’s #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore.

Chaz Mostert started off with a 2:05.2771s from the single flyer on his first run, despite reported dissatisfaction about the low-rev driveability of his #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore.

Whincup (#888 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) sat second after the first runs on a 2:05.3162s, and McLaughlin (#17 Mustang) notched up a 2:05.3228s with his second straight push lap at the start of proceedings.

Holdsworth was first to shift the benchmark on the second runs when he set a 2:04.5966s before team-mate Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) made it a Tickford one-two with a 2:04.5110s.

Soon enough, it was Triple Eight Race Engineering first and second as van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) went to a 2:04.3042s then Whincup a 2:04.2663s.

Unlike Mostert, McLaughlin reportedly did get an engine mapping adjustment for his second run but was unable to see out a full lap with it before Jake Kostecki (#34 Unit ZB Commodore) crunched the wall at The Esses/The Dipper in the 17th minute.

The 2019 race winner had been fastest to the first sector and only a couple of hundredths shy of Whincup to the second, but sat 11th after the second runs due to the red flag interruption.

At that point, Cars #888, #97, #6, and #5 still filled out the top four, from Percat, Mostert, Coulthard (#12 Shell V-Power Mustang), Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore), Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore), and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore).

The cloud cover over Mount Panorama had increased during the stoppage, before the session was restarted after a 10-minute delay.

McLaughlin went after a time immediately and rolled out a 2:04.1035s, which was almost matched seconds later by Waters’ 2:04.1056s, with both laps reportedly run on used tyres.

The Triple Eight cars were held around five minutes longer than the rest but when they were sent, van Gisbergen reclaimed top spot with a 2:04.0351s after a highly committed run from The Esses into The Dipper.

However, it was Holdsworth who was fastest ahead of the final runs, clocking a 2:04.0243s amid reports of raindrops on top of the mountain.

Van Gisbergen was therefore second, ahead of McLaughlin, Waters, Whincup, Coulthard, De Pasquale, Mostert, Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), and Percat.

Holdsworth was held initially when the final runs began and, as it turned out, there was no point going back out given the rain on the mountain got too heavy for decent pace.

That meant that Fullwood missed out on a chance to get back into the Shootout and Car #2 is set to start 11th, alongside the #20 entry of Pye and Dean Fiore.

David Reynolds ended up 13th in the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore, ahead of Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) and Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang).

Tyler Everingham (#40 Valvoline ZB Commodore) put Garry Rogers Motorsport’s wildcard entry 24th on the grid, which is rounded out by the #34 Matt Stone Racing car given Jake Kostecki’s prang.

The next session for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field is Practice 6, reserved for co-drivers, tomorrow at 09:10 local time/AEDT.

Another hour-long practice session will follow, before the Shootout late in the afternoon.

Results: Qualifying for Race 31, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Fastest lap Split
1 5 Truck Assist Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 2:04.0243
2 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.0351 0:00.0108
3 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 2:04.1035 0:00.0792
4 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 2:04.1056 0:00.0813
5 888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.2660 0:00.2417
6 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 2:04.2813 0:00.2570
7 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.4668 0:00.4425
8 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.4936 0:00.4693
9 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 2:04.5485 0:00.5242
10 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.5539 0:00.5296
11 2 Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.6050 0:00.5807
12 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.6320 0:00.6077
13 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.6730 0:00.6487
14 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 2:04.8530 0:00.8287
15 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 2:04.9054 0:00.8811
16 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 2:04.9729 0:00.9486
17 3 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 2:05.0374 0:01.0131
18 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 2:05.1732 0:01.1489
19 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Ford Mustang GT 2:05.2592 0:01.2349
20 19 Local Legends Racing Alex Davison Holden Commodore ZB 2:05.3322 0:01.3079
21 35 Yellow Cover Racing Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 2:05.4142 0:01.3899
22 4 SCT Motor Sports Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 2:06.3498 0:02.3255
23 22 Team SYDNEY Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 2:06.3535 0:02.3292
24 40 Team Valvoline GRM Tyler Everingham Holden Commodore ZB 2:06.6813 0:02.6570
25 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 2:15.1542 0:11.1299

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