Brad Jones Racing has seen its pairing of Nick Percat and Todd Hazelwood claim pole position for this afternoon final two Supercars racing from Townsville.
Two commendable laps by the duo sets up an exciting day of racing with championship rivals Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup buried on the outer fringes of the top-10. The former narrowly avoided a scary accident involving a dawdling Garry Jacobson on the exit of the final corner.
Qualifying Race 23:
Nick Percat topped the first 10-minute qualifying session used to determine the grid for today’s opening 39-lapper around the Reid Park Street circuit.
Cam Waters initally set the benchmark after the first runs had played themselves out with Tickford teammate Jack Le Brocq narrowly beaten in third. The pair were split by BJR’s Nick Percat who put in an impressive opening effort to land himself provisionally on the front row.
Times were well down on yesterday with several drivers holding their cards close to their chest before the final runs.
All drivers rolled out for their final laps, barring Andre Heimgartner who was mired by a persistent engine drama.
McLaughlin laid down the time to beat with a 1:12.3423s but that was immediately dethroned by a stonking last gasp effort to snare his maiden career pole.
Van Gisbergen led an all-Red Bull 4-5 as Waters time was enough to stay third fastest. Le Brocq’a strong opening run was enough to hold sixth ahead of Hazelwood and Bryce Fullwood. Fullwood’s WAU stablemate Chaz Mostert was forced to bail out of his flying lap and ended up 13th.
Anton De Pasquale was a surprise omission from the top-10. He was forced to abandon his sole timed lap and ended up 23rd.
|4||Shane van Gisbergen||0:00.2104|
|6||Jack Le Brocq||0:00.3410|
|23||Anton De Pasquale|
Qualifying Race 24:
Fabian Coulthard set the first competitive time while a handful of key runners opted to stay in pitlane and bid their time.
When the 24-strong field did saunter onto the circuit it was Alex Davison at the head of the timesheets but he was quickly displaced by McLaughlin and Whincup.
The BJR cars looked formidable on their final runs with Percat placing himself on provisional pole before he was usurped by a jubilant Hazelwood who scorched to his maiden pole position in a day of firsts for the Albury outfit.
Van Gisbergen was nowhere across the session and ended a disappointing 12th while Mostert and De Pasquale made amends for their horrid earlier sessions to land themselves on the second row of the grid.
McLaughlin meanwhile ended up in 10th and not without a little damage as he nicked the rear of Jacobson who had made a mistake on his flying lap.
The Matt Stone Racing driver is under investigation for impeding, as are both of the Erebus Motorsport cars for incidents with Heimgartner.
Whincup will start ahead of his title rival in fifth, ahead of a quartet of Tickford cars stringing from sixth to ninth and fronted by Waters.
|4||Anton De Pasquale||0:00.1512|
|8||Jack Le Brocq||0:00.2836|
|12||Shane van Gisbergen||0:00.3475|