Mostert edges McLaughlin for Bend pole

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/08/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Chaz Mostert halted Scott McLaughlin’s domination of the OTR SuperSprint weekend, stealing ARMOR ALL Pole for Saturday’s race.

The three-part, knockout ARMOR ALL Qualifying session was peppered by light rain, which began falling partway through Q2.

It appeared unlikely to stop practice pacesetter McLaughlin, who clocked a record-setting 1:47.6968s early in Q3, to be 0.7624s clear of nearest rival Mostert.

Without enough fuel to complete another run, McLaughlin then parked his Shell V-Power Mustang as the remainder of the field returned to the circuit.

Mostert subsequently recorded 1:47.5227s to take a surprise pole by 0.1741s ahead of McLaughlin, while Mark Winterbottom rocketed to third.

Other late efforts put Anton De Pasquale, Cameron Waters and Andre Heimgartner fourth through sixth, ahead of McLaughlin’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard.

“I don’t know what happened out there to be honest,” said Mostert of his third ARMOR ALL Pole of 2019.

“The car was pretty good at the end there but yeah, it’s pretty sketchy.

“When you see drops on the window around here and such a smooth surface, you know that it’s going to be really slippery when you don’t realise it.

“For me it was just stay on the black stuff.”

McLaughlin blamed himself for the lack of opportunity to do a final run, with refuelling prohibited during the session.

“We ran out of fuel so we didn’t have enough fuel to go out and have another lap,” he said.

“That’s probably my fault because I stuffed up the first session [Q2] so just did an extra lap, but a bloody good lap by Chaz, so well done to him and his guys.

“We’re still P2 and a good chance to win the race.”

Red Bull Holden Racing Team duo Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup joined Winterbottom and Heimgartner in progressing from Q1 to Q3, and will start eighth and ninth.

Will Davison will start behind the Red Bull pair in 10th after stopping on track when his engine cut-out during his final Q3 run.

Van Gisbergen and Whincup had appeared in jeopardy of being knocked out in Q2 having not set a time when the light rain started to fall, but the track proved dry enough for late improvements.

The big victim of Q2 was David Reynolds, who could only manage 12th, behind Tickford Racing’s Lee Holdsworth.

Simona De Silvestro had sat 10th before the final Q2 runs but fell to 13th, ahead of wildcard Thomas Randle, Rick Kelly and James Courtney.

For De Silvestro, who like Courtney had progressed from Q1, 13th marks a career-best qualifying during her third full-time Supercars season.

It was a tough session for Brad Jones Racing, with Tim Slade, Macauley Jones and Nick Percat starting 17th through 19th after failing to progress through the opening segment.

Boost Mobile Racing’s tough season also continued, with James Golding 22nd and Richie Stanaway starting 23rd for his return race.

The 24-lap OTR SuperSprint opener will kick-off at 3:25pm local time.

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