Brodie Kostecki and Broc Feeney have topped a qualifying session each in Melbourne this morning.
The result will see yesterday’s winner Kostecki start from the front in this afternoon’s race while Feeney will start first in tomorrow’s to become the youngest-ever pole sitter in Supercars history.
It was also a commendable qualifying effort for New Zealander rookie Matthew Payne who will start fifth today and eighth tomorrow.
Track conditions were the talking point of the sessions with overnight rain meaning teams were forced to try out wet tyres for the first time in the Gen3 era.
Kostecki’s best time – which was enough to top Race 5 qualifying – was set early in running and eclipsed teammate Will Brown’s by a massive .8063 seconds. Brown was still good enough for second for an Erebus front-row lockout.
Bryce Fullwood put in his best qualifying result this season to take third and will start alongside Anton de Pasquale on the second row.
Payne will have to fend off the experience of Will Davison on the third row with James Golding and Andre Heimgartner starting the row behind.
Mark Winterbottom and championship leader Chaz Mostert round out the top 10.
Friday’s winner, Shane van Gisbergen, will have plenty of work to do from 11th on the grid but still eclipsed several contenders, including Cam Waters (20th), Feeney (21st) and David Reynolds (24th).
Today’s grid layout had the potential to shape up differently with cars having an opportunity to set a single lap on slicks in the final minutes.
Instead, a red flag caused by a beached Reynolds at Turn 3 meant the red flag was shown and the session called early.
Race 6 qualifying did allow for dry running, however, with Feeney coming in clutch for his maiden pole with a late 1min 47.7685sec putting him to the front over Mostert. These times were some 13 seconds faster than the first session just moments earlier, showing the pace difference slicks had and how much the track had evolved.
Brown continued his fine weekend form to qualify third and will have top-placed New Zealander Heimgartner for company on the second row. Fullwood will start the race in fifth next to Le Brocq while Davison joins Payne once again, this time on the fourth row.
Thomas Randle and Scott Pye rounded out the top 10.
Van Gisbergen starts tomorrow’s sole race on the sixth row from 12th and next to Winterbottom. Kostecki could only manage 14th in Q2, one spot to the good over Waters.
While track conditions had improved there were still several incidents for competitors, including Tim Slade who ran over the gravel at Turn 3 early on.
There was also a three-car collision between Brown, Winterbottom and Reynolds at Turn 11 with all three requiring the runoff.
Reynolds came out worst off of the trio, a bent steering arm the result of a tricky morning of qualifying for the veteran. Brown and Winterbottom emerged apparently unscathed.
Nick Percat was able to make an appearance in qualifying following his fire yesterday. He was forced to the lane with power steering issues in the first qualifying but returned to qualify 16th for Race 6 tomorrow.
Le Brocq’s damage from yesterday’s crash is also not evident, his Truck Assist Racing team rewarded for their repair efforts with their driver qualifying 17th in Q1 before his impressive 6th in Q2.
Supercars race once today, at 7.30 pm, and once tomorrow, at 12.25 pm. Both races will be shown live on Sky Sport 5.
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