Scott McLaughlin’s mixed Supercars weekend in Townsville has continued in qualifying for races 20 and 21; the Kiwi stumbling to 13th for the opening race of the day before setting a stunning last-moment lap to take pole for the last race of the weekend.
Pole for the day’s opening race went to Jamie Whincup over Chaz Mostert and James Courtney. McLaughlin’s nearest rivals at the front of the field for race 21, meanwhile, are Cameron Waters and Nick Percat.
McLaughlin was first to set a representative time in the opening qualifier, with a 1:12.700. The time stood to the end of the opening cycle of runs, with the series leader heading Lee Holdsworth, Andre Heimgartner, Shane van Gisbergen, and Jack Le Brocq.
The Red Bull entries of Jamie Whincup and van Gisbergen were first to topple McLaughlin, with the former’s 1:12.310 enough for him to retain the lead and ultimately claim pole.
Van Gisbergen’s time meanwhile was beaten in the following seconds by Mostert, Courtney, Waters, David Reynolds, and Anton de Pasquale. And it was the same for McLaughlin, who was even worse off.
By the end of the session van Gisbergen was seventh, and McLaughlin was buried in 13th — two spots ahead of teammate Fabian Coulthard. Jack Le Brocq and Percat, and Holdsworth completed the 10.
The second session kicked off with the introduction of drizzle at certain parts of the circuit. Even with the smattering of rain, cars were still able to do rapid times. Once the first run was complete, an unlikely Percat held first place over Whincup, Todd Hazelwood, Reynolds, and Holdsworth.
Percat’s 1:12.222 was the quickest time from either session up to that point, with his team electing to pull him out of the car and skip the final run — content with their time. After yesterday’s mechanical issues, his R&J Batteries Holden had been given a new engine overnight.
Waters and McLaguhlin were both in line to threaten Percat’s marker. After a trio of excellent sectors Waters stole first from Percat, only for McLaughlin to steal pole again with a huge change in form over the first qualifier, thanks to a 1:12.129.
When the dust settled, McLaughlin and Waters were first and second over Percat, Whincup, Hazelwood, Reynolds, Holdsworth, Mark Winterbottom, de Pasquale, and Mostert. Van Gisbergen was only 13th, with Coulthard 16th.
Incidents throughout the two 10-minute qualifying sessions were few and far between, apart from an off on the exit of turn six through the dirt for Reynolds in session one.
|6||Anton De Pasquale||0.206|
|7||Shane van Gisbergen||0.216|
|8||Jack Le Brocq||0.220|
|9||Anton De Pasquale||0.250|
|11||Jack Le Brocq||0.251|
|13||Shane van Gisbergen||0.350|