Whincup snatches Bathurst 1000 pole, McLaughlin 2nd

By Matthew Hansen

Photo / Matthew Hansen
Photo / Matthew Hansen

Red Bull Racing Australia's Jamie Whincup has snatched pole in the top-ten shootout for tomorrow's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, beating an impressive time from Scott McLaughlin and his Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo S60.

Chaz Mostert rounds out the top three, while the other two Kiwis in the session - Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen - will start from fourth and seventh respectively.

Nissan Motorsport's Michael Caruso was the first driver to hit the circuit, clocking a 2:05.9167 after a largely clean lap.

The time proved to be a competitive one, with the following drivers of Scott Pye and recent Sandown 500 winner Garth Tander unable to top the Darwin winner's pace.

Reigning series champion Mark Winterbottom and his Bottle-O Racing Falcon couldn't match the time either - posting slower first and second split times, before running wide into the grass through the Chase.

Shane van Gisbergen ran next, but despite an aggressive lap that saw him post the quickest second split, even the series leader couldn't erase Caruso from the top.

Eventually it was fellow New Zealander Fabian Coulthard that beat Caruso's time, setting a 2:05.6726 after a selection of wild moments that included a locked tyre on the approach to the Dipper.

Coulthard's hold on the top was short-lived, with Chaz Mostert setting a 2:05.5268 just minutes later to take over the top in a year where the 2014 Bathurst champion has claimed multiple pole positions. The Supercheap Falcon pilot held the lead through Tim Slade run - the BJR star sliding into third place in the order.

It looked like Scott McLaughlin would follow suit, after recording slower leading splits than Mostert.

However he was able to come back over the final split to take the top step with a 2:05.4915.

But ultimately the time wouldn't be enough, with the weekend's form driver Jamie Whincup recording a 2:05.4263 in the dying seconds of the session to claim pole position for tomorrow's race - the top six positions occupied by six different teams and four different manufacturers.

Results

1. Jamie Whincup
2. Scott McLaughlin
3. Chaz Mostert
4. Fabian Coulthard
5. Tim Slade
6. Michael Caruso
7. Shane van Gisbergen
8. Garth Tander
9. Scott Pye
10. Mark Winterbottom

- NZ Herald

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