Sunday, May 26 02:00pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Record breaker Scott McLaughlin scores pole position

Shell V-Power Racing ace Scott McLaughlin has reset the qualifying lap record at Winton Motor Raceway, leading a team front row lockout.


McLaughlin clocked a 1:15.523 around the 12-turn circuit in Qualifying ahead of the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint behind the wheel of his Ford Mustang.


It brings him a step closer to 60 career pole positions in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.


“That one as awesome,” McLaughlin said.


“I said to the guys I really wanted to go again because I felt like the car had good potential for another good number and I’m proud for the Shell V-Power Racing team to get a front row lock out.


“When the cloud cover came over it got a lot cooler and I thought we might have a shot. I got through Turn 1 really good and I thought ‘far out, we’re on here’ so I just tried to put it together.”


The three-stage Qualifying session saw some surprises in Q1 with Andre Heimgartner at the top of the time sheet in the latter half of the session.


Languishing down in 12th on his final lap was Shane van Gisbergen. The dying stages of the session saw Rick Kelly take the top spot but van Gisbergen managed to put in a last lap effort to take the third quickest time. At the end of the session it was Kelly who led Holdsworth, van Gisbergen, Heimgartner and James Courtney.


Those who missed out and secured 16th through to 24th on the grid were James Golding, Mark Winterbottom, Macauley Jones, Tim Slade, Todd Hazelwood, Garry Jacobson, Simona De Silvestro, Jack Smith, Jack Le Brocq and Richie Stanaway’s substitute Chris Pither.


Q2 began in standard fashion with McLaughlin atop the order. Late in the session everyone except for Kelly opted to go out on track, a decision that didn’t pay off.


The final flurry of action saw Jamie Whincup and Andre Heimgartner set quick times to shoot to the top. The times continued to tumble and the order shuffled. At the end of it all it was McLaughlin atop the standings with a 1:18.825 and three tenths ahead of teammate Coulthard.


Penrite Racing duo David Reynolds and Anton de Pasquale were third and fourth while Lee Holdsworth completed the top five. Whincup, Heimgartner, Chaz Mostert, Will Davison and Cameron Waters all made it through to Q3 and ensuring that all six Ford Mustangs made the top 10.  


Having sat fifth overall, Kelly fell to 12th in the order and just behind him was van Gisbergen who was struggling with understeer across Q1 and Q2. Nick Percat (P11), Scott Pye (P14) and James Courtney (P15) all failed to make it into the final stage.


The start of Q3 continued with McLaughlin setting the pace on a 1:18.899 but he managed to better that by setting a 1:18.523. In doing so McLaughlin reset the qualifying record.


McLaughlin’s time was astonishingly quick and put him half a second clear of teammate Coulthard. Third was Whincup while Reynolds managed to qualifying fourth. Mostert, de Pasquale, Davison, Holdsworth, Waters and Heimgartner completed the top 10 running order. 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Race 14 Qualifying
Pos   Driver Time
1 Scott McLaughlin  1'18.5233
2 Fabian Coulthard  1'19.0520
3 Jamie Whincup  1'19.1049
4 David Reynolds  1'19.1173
5 Chaz Mostert  1'19.1418
6 Anton De Pasquale  1'19.2447
7 Will Davison  1'19.2712
8 Lee Holdsworth  1'19.4164
9 Cameron Waters  1'19.4972
10 Andre Heimgartner  1'19.6424
11 Nick Percat  1'19.5221
12 Rick Kelly  1'19.5298
13 Shane van Gisbergen  1'19.5390
14 Scott Pye  1'19.6536
15 James Courtney  1'19.7371
16 James Golding  1'19.9009
17 Mark Winterbottom  1'19.9224
18 Macauley Jones  1'19.9281
19 Tim Slade  1'19.9502
20 Todd Hazelwood  1'19.9755
21 Garry Jacobson  1'20.0922
22 Simona de Silvestro  1'20.1829
23 Jack Smith  1'20.4509
24 Jack Le Brocq  1'20.4572
25 Chris Pither  1'20.7695