Heimgartner quickest in wet qualifying at The Bend
Saturday 8th May, 2021 - 2:18pm
Andre Heimgartner has claimed pole position for Race 9 at the OTR SuperSprint after making the best of rainy conditions at The Bend Motorsport Park.
The Kelly Grove Racing driver wound up two tenths clear of the Repco Supercars Championship field at the end of qualifying and will be joined on the front row this afternoon by Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert.
Will Brown was a career-best third, ahead of Anton De Pasquale, James Courtney, Will Davison, and Cameron Waters, while championship leader Shane van Gisbergen qualified eighth.
Heimgartner used the same set of wet tyres on the #7 Ned Mustang in all three, 10-minute parts of the knockout session, and that proved to be a wise strategy.
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Having dominated the second segment with a 2:06.1724s which was more than half a second quicker than anyone else could manage, he banked a 2:07.8560s at the start of the final stanza.
That left him over four tenths up on the field until Mostert improved to a 2:08.0682s just before the chequered flag.
However, with the conditions seemingly getting worse as Part 3 wore on, Heimgartner could safely pit just before the end given no one was looking like knocking Car #7 off provisional pole.
“It was pretty surprising but the car was great,” said the now two-time Supercars Championship pole-sitter.
“It’s been great in practice. We went with the theory that if we kept the same tyres on, we would just be able to build on it and I’d be able to work on my driving rather than having to build the tyre temperature up each time.
“So really, really happy. It’s great for Ned, it’s great for Kelly Grove Racing. It’s our first pole position this year and things are heading in the right direction.”
Brown’s 2:08.4508s on his second flyer was good enough to put the #9 Ozland Group Solutions ZB Commodore third on the grid, while De Pasquale was the most prominent to improve after the chequered flag in setting a 2:08.6583s in the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang.
Best of the Tickford Racing quartet was Courtney, who grabbed fifth in the #44 Boost Mobile Mustang with a 2:08.8710s, while Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison (#17 Mustang) took sixth on a 2:08.8886s.
Waters’ 2:08.8949s in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang put him seventh, just ahead of the Red Bull Ampol Racing entries of van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) and Jamie Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore), with Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) making it both Erebus Motorsport entries in the top 10.
Heimgartner’s team-mate David Reynolds, however, missed out on progressing from Part 2 when Whincup jumped up the totem pole after the chequered flag.
Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) is thus due to start 11th, alongside Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), with Tickford wildcard Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) 13th and Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) joining him on Row 7.
Jake Kostecki (#34 Unit ZB Commodore) took 15th, ahead of Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore), WAU wildcard Kurt Kostecki (#27 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore), Garry Jacobson (#22 PremiAir Hire ZB Commodore), and Fabian Coulthard (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore).
Mark Winterbottom did not set a time in Part 2 of the session due to a power steering problem in the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore and is therefore set to start Race 9 from 20th.
In Part 1, it was Mostert quickest on a 2:05.8464s and Pye who rescued himself with the chequered flag out.
The Team 18 driver could only get up to 20th, bumping Zane Goddard (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore) into the bottom six, but it was enough in the end.
As a consequence, Row 11 on the grid is Goddard alongside Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang), while the four Brad Jones Racing entries fill the bottom four.
Specifically, Todd Hazelwood (#14 TRG Transport ZB Commodore) is set to line up in 23rd, from Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore), Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), and Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore).
Race 9 of the season, a 24-lapper, officially gets underway at 16:05 local time/16:35 AEST.
Results: Qualifying for Race 9, OTR SuperSprint
|1||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.8560|
|2||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.0682||0:00.2122|
|3||9||Erebus Motorsport||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.4508||0:00.5948|
|4||11||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||2:08.6583||0:00.8023|
|5||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||2:08.8710||0:01.0150|
|6||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||2:08.8886||0:01.0326|
|7||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||2:08.8949||0:01.0389|
|8||97||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.9036||0:01.0476|
|9||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.2196||0:01.3636|
|10||99||Erebus Boost Mobile Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.9903||0:02.1343|
|11||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.4198||Part 2|
|12||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.5179||Part 2|
|13||55||Castrol Racing||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.8813||Part 2|
|14||3||CoolDrive Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.8828||Part 2|
|15||34||UNIT Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.0444||Part 2|
|16||2||Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.4056||Part 2|
|17||27||Walkinshaw Andretti United||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.6339||Part 2|
|18||22||Team SYDNEY||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.1017||Part 2|
|19||19||Local Legends||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.6969||Part 2|
|20||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||Part 2|
|21||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.6170||Part 1|
|22||5||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||2:08.9223||Part 1|
|23||14||TRG Transport||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.9768||Part 1|
|24||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||2:10.5032||Part 1|
|25||96||Coca-Cola Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||2:10.6000||Part 1|
|26||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||2:11.1523||Part 1|