McLaughlin fastest as Coulthard misses Shootout

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

Scott McLaughlin set the pace in ARMOR ALL Qualifying ahead of a Race 14 Top 10 Shootout that will be run without his Shell V-Power team-mate Fabian Coulthard.

Repeating his trick from the Sunday at Hidden Valley, McLaughlin completed just one green tyre run to top the session.

Set with seven of the 20 minutes remaining, McLaughlin's 1:12.03s was marginally faster than his qualifying effort yesterday and temporarily put the #17 Ford 0.4s clear of the field.

David Reynolds subsequently moved with 0.3s of the Shell Falcon to go second before also sitting out the final run.

Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom slotted their Fords into second and third during an intense late fight to make the top 10, but could not touch McLaughlin.

CLICK HERE for the full Race 14 qualifying result.

"It’s really nice to drive a car this good and it sort of repays driving to its limit," said McLaughlin, who was 0.25s quicker than Mostert.

"It’s quite fun round here, a slippery street circuit. I’m a lucky boy. I count my lucky stars to drive a car this good. We’ve got to work on a few things, but it’s nice."

Despite his impressive Townsville form, Winterbottom said his car is a handful.

“The car is still a little but tricky to drive. It moves around in spots you don’t want it to," he said.

"When you get it right, it’s fast but the first crack I had, was pretty average. You had to put it all on the line for that last lap."

Red Bull duo Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen also needed last-gasp efforts to leap into the Shootout field.

Cameron Waters and Jason Bright made it four Prodrive Fords in the top eight ahead of Garth Tander and Rick Kelly.

Coulthard sat 21st ahead of the final runs and, although making it to 10th as the chequered flag fell, was almost immediately dispatched back to 12th.

“I'm very unhappy really. I just can’t get on top of the qualy car this weekend," said Coulthard.

"Scotty has got in nailed, two from two. Like I said yesterday we’ve got a lot of work to do in the qualy sense but we won’t give up. 

“For me, I’m just struggling to get the car rotated. Every time you wait for the car to rotate you can’t get on the throttle. That’s time for nothing.

"We’re throwing a few things at it this week to try and improve it and make it better. But unfortunately for my guys on the #12 we haven’t been able to manage."

Craig Lowndes endured yet another poor qualifying and will start 21st in the third of the Triple Eight Holdens.

 

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