McLaughlin storms to 12th pole of 2017
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Scott McLaughlin wrapped up the season-long ARMOR ALL Pole Champion award for 2017 by topping qualifying ahead of Race 17 at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.
McLaughlin set a new qualifying record of 1:28.32s to record his 12th pole of the season.
The first green tyre runs in the 15 minute session saw a 1:28.597s from Fabian Coulthard prove 0.092s better than McLaughlin’s effort.
Second runs saw Shane van Gisbergen, Mark Winterbottom and then finally McLaughlin take over the top spot – the Shell Ford 0.2s clear of Winterbottom in the final reckoning.
CLICK HERE for the full qualifying result.
“I’m looking forward to the Christmas party with the boys, it’s going to be awesome,” said McLaughlin, who will receive an extra $10,000 from ARMOR ALL for scoring the most poles for the season.
“To drive a car this good is a testament to my team and I’m a very lucky boy.”
Van Gisbergen and Coulthard will share the second row ahead of Jamie Whincup, Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert, David Reynolds, Scott Pye and Craig Lowndes.
Practice 3 pace-setter Michael Caruso ended up 11th after a difficult session.
The Nissan driver was seventh after the first runs despite being sent out early and having to deal with traffic on his lap.
Although improving his time with his second effort, he fell outside of the top 10.
“Clearly there was a bit of miscommunication and everyone else was starting the cycle when I was doing my green lap,” he said.
“I wasn’t able to get the most out of my first run and that played a part in our overall position.
“But it’s going to be a long race. The tyre degradation seems to be pretty extensive and that’s probably going to play a bigger part than qualifying.”
Cameron Waters lost his second run to a kerb infringement and will start 12th aboard the Monster Prodrive Ford.
The 120km Race 17 will get underway at 1625 local time.