McLaughlin dominates wet qualifying
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Scott McLaughlin scored the Armor All Pole Award for the opening race at Symmons Plains with a masterful performance in wet conditions.
The full 15 minute qualifying hit-out was run in wet conditions, with a downpour just prior to the start setting the scene for a tricky session.
McLaughlin knocked Shane van Gisbergen off the top spot with a scintillating run in the final minutes, pulling 0.4s on the Red Bull Holden.
Chaz Mostert then made it a Ford one-two with his own personal best as the chequered flag fell, albeit still 0.38s shy of the Shell V-Power Ford.
Van Gisbergen will share the second row with David Reynolds, while Triple Eight duo Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes make up row three.
Dale Wood added to Erebus’ fine session with seventh ahead of Jason Bright, Todd Kelly and Mark Winterbottom.
The hero, however, was McLaughlin, who chalked up Shell V-Power Racing’s first Armor All Pole Award at a points scoring Virgin Australia Supercars Championship event.
“I’m pretty stoked,” he beamed.
“The car was fantastic and Ludo (Lacroix, engineer) was keeping me updated with the gaps and what pace I needed to hit.
“The gap is nice, but hopefully we can go well in the race.”
Team-mate Fabian Coulthard failed to make the most of the conditions and ended up 11th.
James Courtney was another big name to struggle in 21st, two places behind Mobil 1 HSV Racing team-mate Scott Pye.
Reigning Symmons Plains Sunday winner Will Davison ended up last after an early trip into the Turn 4 sand triggered a red flag.
“We were struggling to get any grip in the tyres,” he said.
“It was quite good in the wet before on the old tyres but just then I was really fighting for grip.
“It grabbed the front wheel as soon as I hit the brakes and I was pretty much a passenger.”
CLICK HERE for the full qualifying result.