Van Gisbergen takes surprise Supercars pole in Perth

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen has scored a surprise pole position for Race 7 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint.

The 2022 champion was fastest of all in the third and final 15-minute segment of the knockout qualifying session at Wanneroo Raceway, and will this afternoon share the front row with Erebus Motorsport’s championship leader, Brodie Kostecki (#99 Coca-Cola Camaro).

The achievement was contrary to van Gisbergen’s own expectations when he got out of his #97 Camaro with six minutes to go after setting a 0:54.3625s which he thought might be good enough only for the second or third row of the starting grid.

“I think it’s getting hotter and hotter,” explained the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver at the time.

“But yeah, I’ve only got one set of tyres and just wanted to go [early], but that’s about all we got.

“I matched my Q2 time but not quite fast enough, I don’t think so. I think it’ll be top four or five.”

Practice fast man David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) qualified third and Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro) fourth, from rookie Matt Payne (#19 Penrite Mustang), James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang), Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang), Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro), and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Camaro).

Notables to miss out on the top 10 were van Gisbergen’s team-mate Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) in 11th, Walkinshaw Andretti United team-mates Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) in 14th and Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) in 15th, Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) in 18th, and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) in 19th.

The final part of the session started in circumstances resembling a Top 10 Shootout, with Kostecki out on his own and setting a 0:54.5517s on used tyres.

He pitted and then van Gisbergen left the lane, clocking a 0:54.3625s which was exactly the time he set in the earlier stanza, before returning to the pits and vacating the #97 Camaro.

With five minutes to go, Tickford Racing team-mates Courtney and Randle were third and fourth on a 0:54.7388s and 0:54.9424s respectively.

Davison then split them on a 0:54.8645s before the rest rolled out in their bids for pole position.

Reynolds moved into third on a 0:54.6450s while Kostecki improved his time but not his second position in setting a 0:54.3882s, before Le Brocq climbed to fourth on a 0:54.6503s with new tyres reportedly only on the working side of his Matt Stone Racing entry.

Earlier, in Part 2, Reynolds set the pace while at least one driver from each of the first five pit garages were knocked out.

Slade was quickest of the 12 drivers who initially ventured onto the circuit, most on used tyres, on a 0:54.7838s.

He was still top until a flurry of fast laps with just over five minutes to go, during which Kostecki took over the ascendancy on a 0:54.3419s, leaving van Gisbergen second on a 0:54.3625s.

With only two minutes remaining, WAU duo Mostert and Percat sat either side of the cut-off in 10th and 11th respectively, with De Pasquale 15th and Waters 17th.

De Pasquale got himself back as high as ninth with a 0:54.7859s but it would not be enough.

Reynolds jumped him, and everyone else, with a 0:54.2133s in the final two minutes of the stanza before Davison moved to second on a 0:54.3073s.

They would remain first and second while Kostecki and van Gisbergen ended up fourth and fifth in the segment after leaving their cues in the rack for the final minutes.

Feeney missed out on progressing by 0.0631s and will start 11th, alongside Todd Hazelwood (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), with Mark Winterbottom (#600 DeWalt Camaro) 13th.

Percat ended up 14th and Mostert 15th, ahead of Declan Fraser (#56 Tradie Mustang), Macauley Jones (#96 Pizza Hut Camaro), De Pasquale, Waters, and Scott Pye (#20 Toyota Forklifts Camaro).

In Part 1, Davison was quickest and Fullwood best of the Camaro drivers in second, but there were some notables who missed the cut.

The bulk of the field had sat out the first five minutes, during which Cameron Hill (#35 Truck Assist Camaro) was quickest on a 0:54.7568s.

Once the first runs were done, Davison held sway on a 0:54.4334s, his Dick Johnson Racing team-mate De Pasquale was on the bubble in 20th, while Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro) was 23rd and Mostert had not set a time.

De Pasquale then slipped into the bottom five and Mostert had barely got out of the drop zone but they were able to rescue themselves.

On the other hand, Fullwood’s leap from 23rd to second pushed Brad Jones Racing team-mate Heimgartner back to 21st and Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) to 22nd, where they would stay.

They will thus share Row 11 of the grid despite being no more than 0.3177s slower than Davison, with Hill 23rd, from James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) and Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics Camaro).

Race 7, a 42-lapper, is officially due to start at 15:45 local time/17:45 AEST.

Results: Qualifying for Race 7, Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.3625  
2 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.3882 0:00.0257
3 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 0:54.6450 0:00.2825
4 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.6503 0:00.2878
5 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 0:54.6837 0:00.3212
6 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 0:54.7388 0:00.3763
7 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 0:54.8645 0:00.5020
8 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 0:54.8820 0:00.5195
9 23 Nulon Racing Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.8981 0:00.5356
10 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.9343 0:00.5718
11 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.5640 Part 2
12 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 0:54.5662 Part 2
13 600 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.5814 Part 2
14 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 0:54.5919 Part 2
15 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 0:54.6537 Part 2
16 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 0:54.7178 Part 2
17 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.7743 Part 2
18 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 0:54.7859 Part 2
19 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 0:54.9361 Part 2
20 20 Toyota Forklifts Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 0:55.0107 Part 2
21 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.7459 Part 1
22 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.7511 Part 1
23 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.7568 Part 1
24 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.7901 Part 1
25 4 SCT Motorsport Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 0:54.9327 Part 1

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