After controversial incidents with Jamie Whincup and Lee Holdsworth spoiled any chance of a Saturday podium, Kiwi Scott McLaughlin has recovered by grabbing pole position for both of Sunday’s Supercars races at The Bend.
“Massive turnaround. The car was good in qualifying yesterday and the car was fantastic in the race so just good bounce-back,” said McLaughlin.
“Obviously it was a pretty crazy race yesterday and hopefully we can have a good couple of starts and see where we’re at, at the end of the first lap, but it feels good.”
The DJR Team Penske driver set a 1:48.0726 to top the opening session over long-time rival Shane van Gisbergen, Chaz Mostert, Saturday winner Fabian Coulthard, and Andre Heimgartner — making it four Kiwis in the top five.
In the second session, meanwhile, McLaughlin trimmed a few tenths off his best with a 1:47.8280. Mostert will line up alongside him in second, with Whincup, Coulthard, and Nick Percat rounding out the top five.
While Whincup will start the finale in a competitive position, for race 26 he starts down in 11th after a flawed qualifying run — presenting a big opportunity for McLaughlin to further increase his championship lead.
Beyond the top five, the race 26 starting order top 10 is completed by Cameron Waters, Anton de Pasquale, Rick Kelly, Holdsworth, and Percat. Race 27’s top 10, meanwhile, is filled by van Gisbergen, Waters, Heimgartner, Scott Pye, and an outstanding effort from Macauley Jones.