One of the tightest Top 10 Shootout’s in Supercars’ history has seen Brodie Kostecki qualify on pole for this evening’s first race of the Newcastle 500.
Kostecki was fastest in earlier qualifying meaning he was last to run in the shootout. A 1:11.8481 around the Newcastle Street Circuit was enough to put him .1520 seconds clear of Cam Waters who will start second.
Less than four tenths of a second separates the entire top 10 with positions two through six having only .04 seconds between them.
The second row is filled by Broc Feeney and Tim Slade. Shane van Gisbergen is in that mix and will start as the highest placed Kiwi in sixth, alongside David Reynolds.
Andre Heimgartner will start on the row behind with Chaz Mostert for company. Scott Pye and James Golding round out the top 10 respectively.
Heimgartner was third to run and went into the lead by pipping Pye by just .0167 seconds. Feeney went on to better the very next run only for Waters to go .0007 seconds faster on his following flyer.
Reynolds then went third fastest as the sixth runner and falling short of top spot by another tight margin, this time .0263 seconds.
This absurd trend continued following Slade’s run which slotted him into third leaving only .0263 seconds separating the top four with three cars still to set a time.
Van Gisbergen uncharacteristically locked up early on his lap but made back great time to slot into fifth, again only hundredths of a second off top.
Mostert followed this but dropped a tenth of a second on the front five before Kostecki ran last as the fastest qualifier. Kostecki picked up where he left off to set the fastest lap of the session with a 1:11.8481 enough to take pole.
In the earlier qualifying session van Gisbergen and Heimgartner had made sure there were Kiwis in the mix by progressing to the Top 10 Shootout.
Van Gisbergen was best of the Kiwis to go third fastest whilst Heimgartner was eighth in that qualifying session.
It was Brodie Kostecki on top with a 1:11.3217 getting the better of Chaz Mostert by just .0371 seconds. Kostecki’s flyer came on his first lap and remained on top for the session’s entirity.
Van Gisbergen opted for an alternate strategy through early running, waiting for things to settle down prior to going about setting a time. Once he did he sat deep inside the top 10 and never looked back.
Heimgartner was also consistently in the mix and only dropped back to eighth once the final times came in.
Tim Slade was fourth fastest ahead David Reynolds and Cam Waters. Broc Feeney, Scott Pye and James Golding were the other drivers to qualify for the shootout.
Gen3 is off to a difficult start for Shell V-Power Racing with both Will Davison and Anton de Pasquale missing out. To compound matters, Davison was prone to a clutch issue to limited his progress. He will still start 14th with de Pasquale in 17th
The unlucky 11th went to Will Brown who missed out on the shootout by just .006 seconds with Golding the beneficiary.
Other contenders to not make the cut include James Courtney (12th) and Mark Winterbottom (16th).
Payne was 22nd fastest to make for a hard afternoon ahead. His time, however, indicates how close the field has become to be only .7215 off Kostecki.
Today’s season-opening Supercars race begins at 5.20pm and will cover 95 laps of the Newcastle Street Circuit.
Newcastle 500 Race 1 Qualifying Top 10
|Position||Driver||Gap to leader|
|6th||Shane van Gisbergen||+.1940|
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