Percat, Hazelwood take shock Sunday poles

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/09/2020
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Brad Jones Racing's Nick Percat and Todd Hazelwood took career-first ARMOR ALL Poles ahead of the two Sunday races at the Robson Civil Projects Townsville SuperSprint.

The surprise results capped two thrilling 10-minute sessions, with the BJR Holdens clocking their times right at the finish on both occasions.   

In the first hitout, Supercars’ qualifying king Scott McLaughlin appeared to have scooped another pole by recording a 1:12.3423s in the dying stages.

But Percat was still on his lap and edged the championship leader by 0.0800 seconds ahead of McLaughlin, Cameron Waters, Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.

“I can’t thank AE and BJR enough,” beamed Percat, referencing his engineer Andrew Edwards. ‘What a Father’s Day present, we’ve been on the road for so long…

“We’ve been trying so hard to get to the Penske and Triple Eight number and fine-tuning it sparked it up.”

McLaughlin again went fastest in the final minute of the second session, but his 1:12.4599s was hampered by Garry Jacobson.

Jacobson ran wide at the last corner and was slow onto the straight, leaving McLaughlin nowhere to go but into the back of the Commodore.

The Shell Ford sunk to 10th as a host of cars went quicker – none faster than Hazelwood, who recorded 1:12.1541s to edge Percat by 0.0220s.

“It’s unbelievable. I think I lost my voice on the in-lap I was cheering so hard,” said Hazelwood, who qualified seventh for the opening encounter.

“We had our dramas yesterday but knew we’d come back swinging today and we certainly proved that.

“Huge congrats to everyone, including Nick, it’s an awesome start to the day. It’s a huge credit to all involved, we’ve been working so hard.”

Chaz Mostert was third in the second session, recovering strongly after a messy first session left him 13th on the Race 23 grid.

Van Gisbergen also had a mixed bag, managing just 12th in the second session.

Whincup will start Race 24 fifth, behind Anton De Pasquale, although both Penrite Holdens are under investigation for potentially impending Andre Heimgartner in that session.

The day’s opening 39-lap race will kick-off at 12:05pm local time.

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