De Pasquale, Davison split Albert Park poles

Anton De Pasquale leads Will Davison at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Shell V-Power Racing Team stable-mates Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison will start on pole position for Race 8 and Race 9 respectively at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

De Pasquale took first blood on Friday morning, leading Davison in Qualifying for Race 8. The top two order would swap for the following session, Qualifying for Race 9.

Repco Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen was third and sixth fastest for Red Bull Ampol Racing across the two sessions at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

However, the standout was Castrol Racing’s Thomas Randle who qualified fourth for the final race of the weekend.

In the opening eight-minute session, James Courtney (#500 Flex Power Tools) set the first representative lap time, clocking a 1:47.1939s initially.

That was quickly usurped by Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing), who was the first into the 1:46s bracket, edging Courtney out by just under four tenths.

The times continued to tumble and after the first flying lap it was Mostert who led Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Racing), Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Racing), Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Racing), and Courtney.

The top 10 was completed by Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Racing), Scott Pye (#20 Hino Racing), Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Racing), Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing), and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing).

Courtney’s second lap took him back to the top, although van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Racing) immediately edged ahead by a mere three hundredths.

As the session wore on, the order duly shuffled. David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Racing) went to the top on a 1:46.6551s though that was quickly eclipsed by Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Racing Team) to the tune of eight tenths.

Team-mate Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Racing Team) followed suit, slotting into second.

Van Gisbergen was a late charger, fighting back to third, albeit nearly 0.6s adrift of the leading Ford Mustang pair.

“We felt good on the hard tyre yesterday, a bit better than the soft,” said De Pasquale.

“The times between the two tyres is not too much different so we’re making that tyre work really well, but the race is probably going to be won on the soft, so we still have got a bit of work to do.”

Behind Reynolds at the session’s end, Slade was fifth followed by Courtney, Mostert, Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing), Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist Racing), and Winterbottom.

The session wasn’t without a dose of drama as Hazelwood lost control of his car at the hot spot Turn 5, subsequently swiping the outside tyre wall.

That tore the left rear door skin from the Holden ZB Commodore, doing enough damage to rule him out of the final qualifying session.

Other noteworthy performances included Will Brown (#9 Boost Mobile) improved from his Thursday performance to qualify 12th although his team-mate Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile) was only 17th.

Qualifying for Race 9 began with Courtney once again setting the pace, though that was quickly beaten and the Tickford Racing driver dropped down the order.

At the first time of asking, it was De Pasquale who led proceedings on a 1:45.6089s followed by Davison, Mostert, Slade, and van Gisbergen.

Courtney lay sixth, Pye seventh, Percat eighth, Waters ninth, and Feeney the last of the top 10 runners.

After Hazelwood’s drama in the preceding sessions, Truck Assist Racing team-mate Jack Le Brocq understeered into the wall at Turn 7, bringing him to the pit lane.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team drivers again duked it out at the second time of asking; De Pasquale took top spot only for Davison to edge ahead by a mere 0.0071s at the end.

“The car was super predictable, really well balanced and it was just down to trying to get those hundredths out of yourself,” said Davison.

“I really enjoyed that, just didn’t want to touch the car, just get everything out of myself and that last one, I took a few extra risks in the braking zones and pulled off a good lap.”

He’s now determined to convert in race trim: “That’s definitely where our thoughts are. The cars are exceptional but we know at times this year, we have been very strong in qual and maybe not as good in race trim.

“Obviously we are really focused on the race and how we play it out.”

Mostert would come up to third in Qualifying for Race 9, though the biggest shock came from Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Racing) who was among the last across the line to claim fourth.

Tickford Racing team-mate Waters found his mojo, earning fifth.

Van Gisbergen wound up sixth, Percat seventh, Slade eighth, Brodie Kostecki ninth, and Courtney the last of the top 10 runners.

The first race of the weekend, Race 6, gets underway at 14:20 local time/AEST.

Results: Qualifying for Race 8

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Time Diff
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:45.8031
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:45.9328 +0.1297
3 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.3833 +0.5802
4 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:46.6551 +0.8520
5 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:46.6768 +0.8737
6 500 Flex Power Tools James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:46.7825 +0.9794
7 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8026 +0.9995
8 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8074 +1.0043
9 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8304 +1.0273
10 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8599 +1.0568
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:46.9271 +1.1240
12 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0071 +1.2040
13 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0368 +1.2337
14 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0575 +1.2544
15 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:47.0684 +1.02653
16 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:47.0828 +1.2797
17 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.1063 +1.3032
18 96 tools.com Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.2702 +1.4671
19 20 Hino Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.3530 +1.5499
20 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1:47.4236 +1.6205
21 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.4650 +1.6619
22 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.4931 +1.6900
23 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.5437 +1.7406
24 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.8329 +2.0298
25 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore 1:48.1849 +2.3818

Results: Qualifying for Race 9

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Time Diff
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:45.3792
2 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:45.3863 +0.0071
3 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.3945 +0.0153
4 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:45.5372 +0.1580
5 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:45.5475 +0.1683
6 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.6145 +0.2353
7 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.6253 +0.2461
8 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:45.6357 +0.2565
9 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.6450 +0.2658
10 500 Flex Power Tools James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:45.6849 +0.3057
11 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.8482 +0.4690
12 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:45.9415 +0.5623
13 20 Hino Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.9790 +0.5998
14 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:46.0352 +0.6560
15 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.1204 +0.7412
16 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.1997 +0.8205
17 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.3126 +0.9334
18 96 tools.com Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.3303 +0.9511
19 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1:46.3888 +1.0096
20 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.4636 +1.0844
21 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.6335 +1.2543
22 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.6583 +1.2791
23 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.7830 +1.4038
24 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0238 +1.6446
25 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore

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