Van Gisbergen blitzes Supercars field in Townsville Shootout
Saturday 10th July, 2021 - 1:47pm
Shane van Gisbergen has prevailed in the Top 10 Shootout for Race 15 at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint by 0.3572s over Triple Eight Race Engineering team-mate Jamie Whincup.
The Red Bull Ampol Racing entries lock out the front row for this afternoon’s 88-lap Repco Supercars Championship encounter, while both Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustangs will take up Row 2.
Will Davison was third-quickest in the one-lap dash and Anton De Pasquale the big mover in going from a provisional 10th to fourth on the grid.
A slight increase in the mercury relative to the morning’s qualifying session made for an apparently slipperier Reid Park Street Circuit.
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De Pasquale was first to experience it and while he could not quite beat his provisional qualifying time, none of the next five drivers beat his shootout time of 1:12.7292s.
Davison did, understeering at Turn 3 but setting new fastest first and third sectors which added up to a 1:12.7135s.
However, the #17 Mustang’s reign at the top of the timing screen lasted far less time than #11’s, with Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) next on track and setting a 1:12.6699s despite skating on the rears into Turn 7.
That left two drivers to come, and Tim Slade could only get to a 1:12.9884s in the #3 CoolDrive Mustang.
Van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore), however, belted out fastest sectors all the way through the 2.86km lap, breaking the beam at the control line a time of 1:12.3127s.
“It’s testament to the Red Bull Ampol Racing team; the car’s amazing,” exclaimed the championship leader.
“I saw the splits through the middle of the lap and I just saved the tyre for the last sector, for the race; unbelievable.
“But, it actually gave me more grip because I wasn’t wheel-spinning.
“I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive this car; it’s a pretty special place to be in at the moment.”
Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) clocked a 1:12.7736s which left him where he started in fifth on the grid.
James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) was first of the three Tickford Racing drivers in sixth on a 1:12.8317s, with team-mate Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) a position behind having recorded a 1:12.9125s.
The rest of the top 10 is Slade, David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang).
Reynolds kicked up the dirt between Turns 9 and 10 as he set a 1:13.1762s, and Waters was visibly frustrated after a somewhat untidy 1:13.2195s dropped him four spots from a provisional sixth.
Race 15 of the season, a 250km affair, is due to officially start at 15:45 local time/AEST.
Results: Top 10 Shootout for Race 15, NTI Townsville 500
|1||97||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.3127|
|2||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6699||0:00.3572|
|3||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.7135||0:00.4008|
|4||11||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.7292||0:00.4165|
|5||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7736||0:00.4609|
|6||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.8317||0:00.5190|
|7||5||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.9125||0:00.5998|
|8||3||CoolDrive Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.9884||0:00.6757|
|9||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.1762||0:00.8635|
|10||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.2195||0:00.9068|