Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison have claimed first and second in provisional Supercars qualifying at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint ahead of the Top 10 Shootout.
The pairing led Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters, and Jamie Whincup. Series leader Shane van Gisbergen ended up sixth; a mistake during his critical lap costing him a chance at a higher slot on the totem pole.
Van Gisbergen was the first driver in the opening phase of segment one of Q1 to break into the 1min 12sec barrier, throwing down a 1:12.938. It put the Kiwi in exclusive company. By the end he remained the only racer to have set such a time.
His closest competitor by the end of the 10-minute segment was Brodie Kostecki, less than a tenth behind. Cameron Waters had been in the doldrums early but improved to third by the end, over De Pasquale and Nick Percat.
At the other end of the field, Bryce Fullwood, Jake Kostecki, Jack Smith, and Garry Jacobson were knocked out. Chaz Mostert and Scott Pye narrowly avoided eviction, being down in 18th and 19th.
It didn’t take as long for the 12s to be broken into in Q2. De Pasquale was the first, setting a 1:12.991 three minutes in to lead early. A third of the remaining field skipped the early portion of the segment, instead watching from pit-lane and perhaps saving a set of tyres.
De Pasquale’s closest rival was Will Davison as the clock wound down. Both Shell V-Power Racing Mustang drivers elected to sit on the sidelines in the dying moments, knowing that they were probably safe to stay in the top 10.
As the likes of Waters improved, there was drama for van Gisbergen. His opening hot tap on new tyres included a mistake, seeing him run up the escape road at turn four. Luckily for the series leader, he was able to get back to the front straight in time to restart another lap. Thankfully for him, it was good enough for him to rise comfortably into the top 10.
In the end the two Dick Johnson Racing drivers were safe in first and second, with Mostert, Waters, Jamie Whincup, van Gisbergen, an impressive Zane Goddard, Percat, Todd Hazelwood, and James Courtney set the top 10.
Erebus Motorsport’s Kostecki and Will Brown narrowly missed out on a top-10 berth, in 11th and 12th. Jack Le Brocq, Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds, Andre Heimgartner, Macauley Jones, Scott Pye, Tim Slade, and Fabian Coulthard rounded out the knocked-out drivers between 13th and 20th.