Scott McLaughlin tamed a soggy Mount Panorama to claim ARMOR ALL provisional pole position for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 as several big guns fell in the wet.
McLaughlin mastered the slippery track to edge fellow Mustang pilot Chaz Mostert by under half a second from Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Shane van Gisbergen, who recovered from early wet weather struggles.
Will Davison followed in another Mustang in a mixed top ten ahead of Brad Jones Racing Pair Tim Slade and Nick Percat. Four-time Bathurst winner Jamie Whincup only just snuck into the ARMOR ALL Shootout in his final stint after having similar struggles to Van Gisbergen.
One of the race favourites David Reynolds, who won two years ago, ended up way down the order to start the race in position 22 while McLaughlin’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard will start in 16, James Courtney in 18 and the in-form Lee Holdsworth in grid box 20.
McLaughlin has made no secret of his burning ambition to win Bathurst and has built an almost unbeatable Championship lead with the specific aim of going all out this weekend.
It was the only wet session of the weekend so far with the remainder of the forecast clear for when the last ten positions on the grid are set in the shootout tomorrow afternoon.
McLaughlin said he wanted to be in the lead group in order to make the most of the latter part of the shootout which is generally the most favourable conditions.
Mostert could prove a formidable foe for McLaughlin tomorrow having pushed the Kiwi today.
Whincup struggled early and looked set to miss the shootout until a late change helped him sneak into the ten, at the same time pushing Rick Kelly out of the shootout in the Castrol Altima.
Cameron Waters was another star performer having missed the majority of the session with car problems leaving him to complete just five laps. On his final lap he jumped into eighth ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Anton De Pasquale.
The final make up of the top ten from today’s ARMOR ALL Qualifying is:
- Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power Ford)
- Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Ford)
- Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden)
- Will Davison (Milwaukee Racing Ford)
- Tim Slade (Freightliner Racing Holden)
- Nick Percat (7-Eleven Mobil Holden)
- Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Holden)
- Cam Waters (Monster Energy Ford)
- Mark Winterbottom (Irwin Racing Holden)
- Anton de Pasquale (Penrite Racing Holden)
All drivers will have two more practice sessions tomorrow before the fan-favourite ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout which begins at 5:05pm local time.
- 9:40am – 10:10am – Practice 6
- 12:10pm – 12:40pm – Practice 7
- 5:05pm – 5:50pm – Top Ten Shootout
- 8:20am – 8:40am – Warm up
- 11:30am – Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
On free to air television within Australia, the event will be broadcast LIVE on Network Ten and WIN.
Within New Zealand SKY SPORTS covers the championship live in HD. Outside of Australia and New Zealand you can follow the action with the SuperView live streaming product. For the full TV Schedule for each state, head to supercars.com/tv-schedule.