Saturday, Feb 22 03:38pm
AUTHOR: Josh Ritchie

Whincup takes first pole position of 2020 Supercars season

Photo Credit: Superloop Adelaide 500


Jamie Whincup has taken the first pole position of the 2020 Supercars season, beating out team-mate Shane Van Gisbergen in the top-ten shootout as McLaughlin struggled to match the pace of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team duo.

First session

Jack LeBrocq was the first driver to put a time down in the first part of qualifying, posting a 1:21.319. Although the times would begin to tumble rapidly, with only the top four eligible to progress into the second qualifying session.

Percat went fastest shortly thereafter. LeBrocq would regain the top spot, only to be eclipsed by Kiwi Andre Heimgartner almost immediately.

As the time whittled down toward the end of the first session, Percat posted the fastest time of the session with one minute remaining, with a 1:20.373. Heimgartner would regain the top spot, posting a time just under a tenth faster than Percat. Lee Holdsworth bounced back from his practice shunt to take third fastest in the session.

The four drivers that made it through to the second part of qualifying were Heimgartner, Percat, Holdsworth and LeBrocq.

Second session

Scott McLaughlin was the first driver to post a sub 1:20 time during the session, posting a 1:19.825 to go fastest with five minutes left in the session.

After looking on course to eclipse McLaughlin’s time, Jamie Whincup spun at the turn eight hairpin.

Despite making it into the second part of qualifying, LeBrocq could not produce a representative time due to a mechanical issue that persisted from the first part of qualifying.

With one minute to go in the session, Cameron Waters went to the top of the timesheets, only to be overtaken by Shane Van Gisbergen with a 1:19.446. It would ultimately prove to be the best time of the session.

Fabian Coulthard would not progress to the top ten shootout after being beaten to the final slot by Anton de Pasquale.
Heimgartner hit the wall relatively heavily, inhibiting his chance to better his time.

Top Ten Shootout

De Pasquale kicked off the top ten shootout, posting a 1:19.958 to set the marker for those to follow.

The second driver in the shootout was four-time Superloop 500 winner, Jamie Whincup. Whincup utilized his experience to produce a 1:19.479 to put him to the top of the timing sheets. No-one would eclipse his time for the remainder of the session.

Mark Winterbottom couldn’t match the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver’s pace, and eventually had to settle for ninth.
Mostert mounted a challenge toward Whincup’s time, just falling short by seven one-hundredths of a second.

Percat struggled to match the pace that got him into the shootout, falling in behind Winterbottom to take up the backrow of the top ten.

Will Davison started his lap off very well, setting the first sector alight with a very respectable second sector time to match. But ultimately missed out on the top of the time sheets by 0.013 of a second over Whincup.

David Reynolds’ shootout lap started off dramatically, with an apparent mechanical fault, causing the Penrite car to bellow smoke throughout the lap. However, it wouldn’t hamper Reynolds’ as he would only miss out on the top of the time sheets by four thousandths of a second.

Defending champion McLaughlin struggled to match his earlier pace, eventually settling for seventh in the shootout.

Waters approached his lap aggressively, but could not convert it to overall pace, finishing just ahead of McLaughlin.

Van Gisbergen surprisingly could not replicate the pace that saw him atop the timesheets in qualifying, with the Kiwi being relegated to sixth for the first race of the year.

The first race of the season is scheduled for 6:50pm NZT later today.

Combined qualifying results

1. Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight Race Engineering
2. David Reynolds – Erebus Motorsport
3. Will Davison – Tickford Racing
4. Chaz Mostert – Walkinshaw Andretti United
5. Cameron Waters – Tickford Racing
6. Shane Van Gisbergen – Triple Eight Race Engineering
7. Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
8. Anton de Pasquale – Erebus Motorsport
9. Mark Winterbottom – Charlie Schwerkolt Racing
10. Nick Percat – Brad Jones Racing
11. Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
12. Lee Holdsworth – Tickford Racing
13. Andre Heimgartner – Kelly Racing
14. Jack LeBrocq – Tickford Racing
15. Scott Pye – Charlie Schwerkolt Racing
16. Rick Kelly – Kelly Racing
17. Macauley Jones – Tim Blanchard Racing
18. Bryce Fullwood – Walkinshaw Andretti United
19. Garry Jacobson – Matt Stone Racing
20. Zane Goddard – Matt Stone Racing
21. James Courtney – Team Sydney
22. Jack Smith – Brad Jones Racing
23. Todd Hazelwood – Brad Jones Racing
24. Chris Pither – Team Sydney