Van Gisbergen fastest as Shell Fords miss Shootout

  • 22/10/2017
  • By Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Shane van Gisbergen topped provisional qualifying for today's second leg of the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, while both Shell V-Power Racing Falcons missed the Top 10 Shootout.

Van Gisbergen led the way in the first dry running since Friday afternoon, following a wet Saturday at Surfers Paradise, with a 1:10.3701s set on his opening run.

That stood as the fastest time of the 20 minutes, while title contenders Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard had to settle for 13th and 22nd on the grid.

The ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout will start at 11:40am local time, before Race 22 of the season from 2:25pm.

With a 1:10.5596s and then the pivotal 1:10.3701s, van Gisbergen threw down the gauntlet early, sitting nearly half-a-second clear of Red Bull Holden Racing Team stablemate Jamie Whincup at the halfway mark.

Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds chipped away at that margin, but it was still the best part of four tenths before Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert and then Reynolds again got the eventual margin down to 0.1006 seconds in the closing stages.

Bathurst winner Reynolds is regrouping from a tough Saturday, while Mostert, Waters and Winterbottom filled the next three places for Prodrive Racing Australia.

Waters had a pair of brushes with walls before jumping up the order late, while Whincup, Nissan’s Michael Caruso, Craig Lowndes, James Courtney and Lee Holdsworth secured the other Shootout places.

Courtney did so despite nosing the wall at Turn 12 in a frenetic finish to the session in his Mobil 1 HSV Racing Commodore.

Tim Slade returned to pitlane as the chequered flag was flying with smoke billowing from his Brad Jones Racing Commodore and a minor fire, finishing the session 12th.

“It was a bit of a weird one,” said Slade.

“I just grazed the Turn 2 wall on that last lap and started smelling smoke in between Turns 11 and 12 and then looked out the back and it was pouring out with smoke.”

While Dale Wood collected the wall at Turn 11 and stopped on the inside of the exit with 75s remaining, the session finished without interruption.

Even that did not help McLaughlin and Coulthard, although McLaughlin did gain a handful of places with his final flying lap to be 13th, having overshot Turn 11 earlier in the run.

“We just didn’t quite have it right there, I’m not sure what happened,” said McLaughlin.

“We were trying to have a fast car and just went the wrong way. There’s a lot of things we need to work on, including my driving, but I’m struggling under brakes.

“That’s where I’ve been comfortable all year. We’ll work on it as a squad, the boys will get around us and with good pitstops we’ll get back up there.”

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