Mostert edges Whincup to first GT pole of 2021

The #24 Audi. Picture: Picture: Daniel Kalisz Photographer/ARG

Chaz Mostert has claimed pole position for the first race of the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS season, edging Jamie Whincup in qualifying at Phillip Island.

Mostert laid down a 1:28.1481s at the end of a relatively long, single run in the #24 R8 LMS GT3 Evo which he is sharing with Tony Bates, giving early bragging rights to Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia.

Whincup achieved a best of 1:28.3657s to take second in the Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 which Prince Jefri Ibrahim will also be behind the wheel of.

Another Triple Eight Supercars driver, Garth Tander, earned third for he and Yasser Shahin in the #777 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, which is set to share the second row with the Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

With the starting grid for Race 1 determined by the fastest laps for each car across two qualifying sessions, and the big guns all being in Qualifying 2, it was therefore the latter 20-minute hit-out which was the one to watch.

Whincup was fastest after the first flyers with a 1:28.9903s to Tander’s 1:29.1082s, but his time at the top would be brief.

Tander set a 1:28.4950s next time around while Mostert jumped from sixth to second with a 1:28.6619s on his second flyer.

With Whincup already back in the pits, Tander improved ever so slightly to a 1:28.4872s, which was overhauled by Mostert’s 1:28.2857s.

The latter all but matched his new benchmark on his fourth push lap, setting a 1:28.3033s as Tander also returned to the lane.

Mostert then rolled out the 1:28.1841s before he too chose to put the cue in the rack, while Whincup took a different approach.

The seven-time Supercars champion came back out for another single-lap push, which yielded a 1:28.3657s and second on the grid for Car #888.

Tander did not go again, leaving him third, while Brenton Grove was a little over 1.2s further back in the #4 Porsche he is driving along with father Stephen.

Trophy class entrant Brad Schumacher had topped Qualifying 1 with a 1:30.2314s and, as it turns out, that would have been good enough for a third row start anyway.

However, being a solo driver this weekend, Schumacher himself got another crack in Qualifying 2 and grabbed fifth on the grid rather than sixth by driving his #55 Audi R8 LMS Ultra to a 1:29.9545s.

Paul Stokell secured sixth on the grid for he and Gary Higgon in another Trophy class car, namely the #124 Audi R8 LMS, by clocking a 1:30.0163s in the latter stanza of qualifying.

Rounding out the top 10 were Matt Stoupas (#23 Audi), Andrew Macpherson/Ben Porter (#51 Lamborghini), Brett Hobson (#96 Nissan), and Tony Quinn (#7 Aston Martin).

The first, hour-long race of the weekend starts tomorrow at 12:20 local time/AEDT, as part of Round 1 of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.

Results: Combined Qualifying

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Sess Cls Fastest lap Split
1 24 Bostik Racing – AFS Logistics T.Bates/C.Mostert Audi R8 LMS Evo Q2 PRA 1:28.1841
2 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering J.Ibrahim/J.Whincup Mercedes AMG GT3 Q2 PRA 1:28.3657 0:00.1816
3 777 The Bend Motorsport Park Y.Shahin/G.Tander Audi R8 LMS Evo Q2 PRA 1:28.4872 0:00.3031
4 4 Grove Group /Dasher Fisher Gin S.Grove/B.Grove Porsche GT3-R 911-II Q2 PRA 1:29.6900 0:01.5059
5 55 Schumacher M’Sport/Kelso Elec Brad Schumacher Audi R8 LMS Ultra Q2 GT3 1:29.9545 0:01.7704
6 124 KFC G.Higgon/P.Stokell Audi R8 LMS Q2 GT3 1:30.0163 0:01.8322
7 23 KFC Matt Stoupas Audi R8 LMS Q1 GT3 1:30.5840 0:02.3999
8 51 Imak Kwikmit A.MacPherson/B.Porter Lamborghini Huracan Q2 AM 1:30.7510 0:02.5669
9 96 Hobson Motorsport Brett Hobson Nissan Nismo GT3 Q2 GT3 1:30.8622 0:02.6781
10 7 Local Legends Tony Quinn Aston Martin Vantage Q2 AM 1:31.4282 0:03.2441
11 33 Perfect Auto Body Vince Muriti Audi R8 LMS Q2 GT3 1:31.8651 0:03.6810
12 38 Trading Garage / The Motorists Michael Bailey Aston Martin Vantage Q2 GT3 1:31.9534 0:03.7693
13 47 Mack Bros Roofing Products Wayne Mack Ferrari 458 GT3 Q2 GT3 1:32.1074 0:03.9233
14 91 Canon Foods Arthur Abrahams Audi R8 LMS Evo Q2 AM 1:32.5374 0:04.3533
15 99 Industrie Nick Kelly Audi R8 LMS Ultra Q2 GT3 1:32.6081 0:04.4240
16 5 Arris Property Developments Greg Taylor Audi R8 LMS Ultra Q1 GT3 1:32.6665 0:04.4824
17 71 Dale Paterson Motorsports Dale Paterson Camaro Reiter GT3 Q1 GT3 1:34.0280 0:05.8439
18 88 Maranello Motorsport A.Deitz/P.Edwards Ferrari 488 GT3 Q1 AM 1:34.0400 0:05.8559
19 77 Forum V.Tesoriero/B.Papadimitriou Audi R8 LMS Ultra Q2 GT3 1:34.0688 0:05.8847

Championship class(es): PRA, AM
Trophy class(es): GT3

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