Wildcard Best takes The Bend Supercars pole position

Zak Best

Tickford Racing wildcard Zak Best has qualified on pole position for Race 21 at The Bend in just his second solo event start in the Repco Supercars Championship.

Best was among the first to set a lap time in the third and final part of the knockout qualifying session at the OTR SuperSprint and his 1:47.8168s withstood challenges from team-mate Cameron Waters as well as championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.

The latter is set to start on the other side of the front row in the #97 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore, with Waters to line up at the head of Row 2 in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.

Waters had made it through to Part 3 with the only ‘47’ of the weekend to that point, and waited out the opening minutes of the decisive stanza.

Best, however, went out and laid down an event faster lap, 1:47.8168s, in the #78 Mustang.

With the first runs done, Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) was second on a 1:48.1408s, from Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore) on a 1:48.3874s and Will Brown (#9 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) on a 1:48.7949s.

Best vacated his car with three minutes to go and Brown also sat out the balance of the session, as De Pasquale and Feeney went again, and were joined by the other six drivers still in contention for pole.

Amid evidence of light rain over Tailem Bend, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore) went second on a 1:48.0068s despite a big moment at the Turn 5 sweeper.

Waters then clocked a 1:47.9387s on his first and ultimately only flyer of the segment, meaning it was left to van Gisbergen to see if he could topple the 20-year-old from Benalla.

The two-time champion set the fastest second sector but was still a hundredth away from Best’s split to that intermediate and could only make a 1:47.8391s when he got to the control line.

As such, the top five is Best, van Gisbergen, Waters, Mostert, and De Pasquale.

CLICK HERE for Best reaction

The latter will share Row 3 with team-mate Will Davison (#17 Mustang), who barely made it out of Part 1 of the session.

Rounding out the top 10 were Feeney, David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore), and Brown.

Back in Part 2, Waters set the pace on a late 1:47.9083s, from De Pasquale on a 1:48.2556s on his only flyer of the segment.

Feeney snuck into the top 10 with a 1:48.6235s after the chequered flag but Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) fell 0.0160s shy with an even later lap and is set to start 11th.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) similarly improved only to 12th, with Row 7 made up of Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) and Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore).

Rounding out the top 20 were Scott Pye (#20 Nulon ZB Commodore), James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang), wildcard Jordan Boys (#49 Joss Dynamic ZB Commodore), Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Mustang), Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s ZB Commodore), and Jake Kostecki (#56 Tradie Mustang).

Part 1 was topped by De Pasquale on a 1:48.2697s but Davison had been in serious danger of failing to advance.

He was 22nd when the chequered flag came out, having run on used tyres, and 24th by the time he set a 1:49.2673s to elevate himself to 17th.

Jake Kostecki then took over 17th, bumping Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist ZB Commodore) out of the top 20, but Davison had done enough.

Hazelwood, however, is set to start 21st, ahead of Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), James Golding (#31 Subway ZB Commodore), Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist ZB Commodore), Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), Macauley Jones (#96 TRG ZB Commodore), and Jack Smith (#4 SCT ZB Commodore).

Race 21 of the season, a 24-lapper, is scheduled to start at 16:15 local time/16:45 AEST.

Results: Qualifying for Race 21, OTR SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 78 Best Leisure Industries Zak Best Ford Mustang GT 1:47.8168
2 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:47.8391 0:00.0223
3 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:47.9387 0:00.1219
4 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.0068 0:00.1900
5 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:48.1408 0:00.3240
6 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:48.3091 0:00.4923
7 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.3874 0:00.5706
8 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:48.4433 0:00.6265
9 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.4436 0:00.6268
10 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.7949 0:00.9781
11 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:48.6395 Part 2
12 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.6769 Part 2
13 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.6811 Part 2
14 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.7041 Part 2
15 20 Nulon Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.7199 Part 2
16 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:48.8441 Part 2
17 49 Joss & Dynamic Jordan Boys Holden Commodore ZB 1:48.9244 Part 2
18 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:49.0721 Part 2
19 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:49.1339 Part 2
20 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1:49.1398 Part 2
21 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:49.3683 Part 1
22 22 PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:49.4483 Part 1
23 31 Subway PremiAir Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:49.4873 Part 1
24 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:49.5268 Part 1
25 3 CoolDrive Auto Parts Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:49.8393 Part 1
26 96 TRG Transport Solutions Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:50.2329 Part 1
27 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:50.3859 Part 1

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