Championship leader Scott McLaughlin will start the first of two V8 SuperTourer races at Ruapuna on Sunday from pole and is odds-on for the inaugural V8 SuperTourer championship after lead chaser John McIntyre crashed in practice.

McLaughlin lit up the track in the dying moments of the second qualifying session for lead drivers, clocking a scintillating time of one minute, 23.145 seconds.

Each driver took part in one qualifying session, with all teams nominating the driver to start race and and both grids being formed on the times each driver recorded.

That meant Ant Pedersen, a winner at the first round of V8 SuperTourers at Hampton Downs, will start the first race from the front row. Steve Owen will start third in the Supercheap car and Greg Murphy fourth in the Mike Pero-backed Holden.


Excelling on his circuit debut was Chris Van Der Drift - easily quickest of the co-drivers.

He will start race two from pole position. Jack Perkins starts second in the Mike Pero car and Jono Webb fourth in McLaughlin's Holden.

McIntyre crashed heavily in the second practice session of the day, spearing off the circuit at turn one after the kink, making heavy contact with the tyre barrier.

It was initially thought he had broken his arm but hospital reports indicated a dislocated shoulder. He was conscious throughout the rescue and talking to the emergency crews who reached him in seconds.

Damage to the car was extensive, however, and McIntyre's injuries curtailed his weekend and ended his championship hopes.