McLaughlin leads Shell one-two in Race 5 Qualifying
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Shell V-Power Racing has continued its hot form with a front-row lockout for the opening race at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.
Scott McLaughlin lowered the qualifying lap record to 1:29.36s to beat team-mate Fabian Coulthard to the ARMOR ALL Pole Award by 0.12s.
The Shell Fords swapped the top spot throughout the 20 minutes, with McLaughlin setting the early pace before being eclipsed by Coulthard midway through.
McLaughlin then went faster again on his second and third runs, with Coulthard unable to respond in the closing minutes.
“I love this place as much as the penguins,” smiled McLaughlin, who won four races at Phillip Island over the last three years aboard Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvos.
“The car was fantastic, we just had a crack. It was so much fun.
“It’s great for the team to have Fabs there next to me as well.
“It’s going to be a fun run to Turn 1. We’ll see how we go."
Red Bull Holden star Shane van Gisbergen was best of the rest in third, 0.28s adrift of McLaughlin’s benchmark.
Mark Winterbottom returned to form in fourth ahead of Prodrive team-mate Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup in the second of the Red Bull Commodores.
Cameron Waters made it five Falcons in the top seven ahead of the Holdens of David Reynolds, James Courtney and Tim Slade.
Craig Lowndes managed just 15th in his rebuilt TeamVortex Holden after struggling for rear-end grip.
The 250km Race 5 of the championship will get underway at 3:45pm local time.
Click here for the full ARMOR ALL qualifying result.