McLaughlin blitzes Shootout for Race 14 pole

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/07/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Scott McLaughlin set the fastest ever Supercars lap of the Reid Park street circuit to score pole for Race 14 of the season at the Watpac Townsville 400.

McLaughlin was the last man out in the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout thanks to his 1:12.03s effort in the earlier qualifying session.

With Shane van Gisbergen’s 1:12.26s the time to beat, McLaughlin clocked 1:11.99s to score his ninth pole of the year and 12th consecutive front-row start.

CLICK HERE for the full Top 10 Shootout result.

"I tried to get an 11 all weekend, so get it in the Shootout is fantastic," said McLaughlin.

"Shane did a really good lap, the 1:12.2 and I knew I had to get it right."

Van Gisbergen, whose car received a spare engine last night after its Race 14 issues, said he had a significant swing at the set-up after qualifying earlier today. 

"We had a pretty good improvement from qualy, but that’s a big gap, two and half tenths, to Scotty. The car looks awesome but he’s driving it very well so that’s a tough one," he said.

“We’re doing our own program and trying to get better. It’s not going to happen straight away. I feel like we’re chipping away and getting better and better in all three cars.

"Hopefully we can get a good start and race with them and see if we can have a crack."

First man out Rick Kelly had set a strong early benchmark that was unable to be beaten by Garth Tander, Jason Bright and Cameron Waters.

Bright locked his rear brakes at the final corner of his lap, dropping his right-rear onto the grass before spinning completely.

“The start of the lap wasn’t that great. I had a good first micro-sector than ran a little bit wide at turn 3," he said.

"I was trying to make it up the rest of the lap. I went into last corner a little bit hot, locked the rears and turned around. I wasn’t going to die wondering, that’s for sure."

Van Gisbergen finally defeated the Nissan and then saw team-mate Jamie Whincup and David Reynolds fall 0.075s and 0.02s short of his time respectively.

Prodrive’s guns also failed to fire, Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert slotting in behind Whincup.

That left a Reynolds/Whincup second row ahead of Winterbottom, Mostert, Kelly, Waters, Tander and Bright.

The 200km Race 14 of the championship will get underway at 1610 local time.

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