Scott McLaughlin has positioned himself perfectly to try and claim the 2020 Supercars Championship crown today, having claimed pole position for both of today’s races at The Bend.
McLaughlin ended the first quick-fire session with pole via a 1:15.450 — a big decline in time since yesterday’s racing thanks to worse weather conditions. He was just two hundredths ahead of teammate Fabian Coulthard, with Cameron Waters continuing his Saturday form in third.
After starting outside the top 10 in yesterday’s race, Jamie Whincup qualified fourth. James Courtney, Anton de Pasquale, Mark Winterbttom, Nick Percat, Rick Kelly, and Chaz Mostert completed the top 10. Yesterday’s second-place finisher Shane van Gisbergen, meanwhile, could only muster 15th.
His difficulties appeared to continue into the second qualifying session for race 30 of the season; the 2016 champ touring the paddock after an off through the sand trap at turn 11.
With McLaughlin sitting out the opening phase of the session, Whincup was the quickest driver early via a 1:15.570. With a minute and a half McLaughlin registered a 1:15.620 to go third, but he had more to come. He immediately registered a quickest first sector on his next lap, and by the second sector he was three tenths up on Whincup.
When he crossed the line a 1:15.349 was the result — an interesting role from a second lap. Attention turned to van Gisbergen and his ‘go for broke’ final lap, only for the Kiwi seemingly unable to make it to the finish line in time to start his lap, buttoning early in the lap. As a result, he would only start 22nd on the grid.
Behind McLaughlin is Waters, who improved late. Whincup, Courtney, Coulthard, Mostert, Bryce Fullwood, Percat, de Pasquale, and an impressive Macauley Jones round out the top 10.
Vacant from the grid today will be Alex Davison. The Team Sydney driver has been ruled out for the weekend (subsequently failing to appear in qualifying) due to engine issues.
|6||Anton De Pasquale||0.303|
|14||Jack Le Brocq||0.453|
|15||Shane van Gisbergen||0.458|
|9||Anton De Pasquale||0.384|
|17||Jack Le Brocq||0.596|
|22||Shane van Gisbergen||1.036|