Heimgartner on provisional pole as Whincup crashes in Sydney rain

Andre Heimgartner

Andre Heimgartner has provisionally qualified on pole position for Race 30 of the Repco Supercars Championship as Jamie Whincup crashed at a wet Sydney Motorsport Park.

Heimgartner’s first flyer in the #7 Ned Mustang was a 1:45.0822s and no one would go any better for the balance of the 15-minute session, meaning the Kelly Grove Racing driver is safely into the Top 10 Shootout.

Whincup also made it, despite damaging his #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore, but neither Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang will be in the one-lap dash after Will Davison qualified 11th and Anton De Pasquale 17th.

Whincup’s team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, who is favoured to clinch the drivers’ championship today at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, is provisionally second on the grid.

As rain fell over Eastern Creek, Heimgartner rolled out a lap which was more than 0.6s quicker than anyone else could go on their first flyers, before van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) jumped from 16th to second with a 1:45.1380s next time around.

Whincup had just improved his time to a 1:45.5737s when he slid off the road at Moffat Corner (Turn 1) and into the tyre barriers.

The seven-time champion retreated to the pits and that was where he would remain, having bent the rear track rod on the right-hand side of Car #88.

Whincup was sixth at that point, about halfway into the session, but he still made it into the shootout.

The only driver to subsequently beat his time was Team Sydney’s Fabian Coulthard, who drove the #19 Local Legends ZB Commodore into fourth with a 1:45.3967s after the chequered flag.

It was that lap which knocked Davison (#17 Mustang) out of the Top 10 Shootout, after the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner had gone no quicker than a 1:45.9746s.

That made for a double miss for Dick Johnson Racing with De Pasquale only able to clock a 1:46.5654s in the #11 Mustang.

Behind Heimgartner and van Gisbergen was Brad Jones Racing’s Todd Hazelwood in third on a 1:45.1554s which the 2017 Super2 Series winner set before he too became one of a handful of drivers to have an off at Turn 1.

Hazelwood, like Whincup, got the tyre wall but was able to drive the #14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore out and in fact kept circulating, albeit with no improvement in lap time.

That mattered not given no one else got particularly close, Coulthard almost a quarter of a second away from the top three, while Nick Percat made it two BJR entries in the top five with a 1:45.4163s in the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore.

The rest of the top 10 was Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), Whincup, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore), Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) on a 1:45.8823s in the second KGR car.

Heimgartner said post-session, “I love those kind of conditions, it’s good fun just going into the corners hoping you won’t fly off the track.

“So, really good; obviously it doesn’t really mean too much, we’ve got the Top 10 Shootout coming and almost being the first car [in provisional qualifying] is a disadvantage because it’s more time for the heat to come out of the tyres.

“We’ll wait and see but very good start, the car was comfortable at the start, and managed to put in a good time.”

Aside from the DJR duo, notables outside the top 10 were Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown (#9 Shaw And Partners ZB Commodore) in 16th and his team-mate Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) in 19th.

The Top 10 Shootout is due to start at 12:35 local time/AEDT.

Results: Qualifying for Race 30, Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:45.0822
2 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.1380 0:00.0558
3 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.1554 0:00.0732
4 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.3967 0:00.3145
5 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.4163 0:00.3341
6 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:45.4693 0:00.3871
7 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.5737 0:00.4915
8 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:45.5891 0:00.5069
9 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:45.8592 0:00.7770
10 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:45.8823 0:00.8001
11 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:45.9746 0:00.8924
12 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:46.1121 0:01.0299
13 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:46.1403 0:01.0581
14 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:46.3762 0:01.2940
15 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:46.4434 0:01.3612
16 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:46.4612 0:01.3790
17 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:46.5654 0:01.4832
18 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:46.5917 0:01.5095
19 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:46.9238 0:01.8416
20 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:47.1097 0:02.0275
21 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:47.4326 0:02.3504
22 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:47.5376 0:02.4554
23 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.3816 0:03.2994
24 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:56.0017 0:10.9195

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]