Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has locked in ARMOR ALL Pole Position for this afternoon’s race at the Castrol Gold Coast 600.
The quick Kiwi held out yesterday’s other fast man Scott McLaughlin by 0.0297 seconds, setting up a Red Bull versus Volvo battle off the start with his 1min10.6544 lap.
Van Gisbergen shares with McLaughlin’s former teammate and co-driver Alex Premat this year through the endurance races, with David Wall in the #33 Volvo. Co-drivers traditionally start the races at the Gold Coast event.
Van Gisbergen was pleased with his lap and expected challenge from McLaughlin and teammate Jamie Whincup, who finished the session third.
“I always knew Jamie and Scotty would be up there, they’re specialists here too,” Van Gisbergen said.
“The car’s fantastic, what an awesome session here. It’s just flat out – I ended up knocking the door off it. The car’s awesome, looking forward to the race this afternoon.”
Premat was impressed by the lap.
“So happy, he did an amazing lap, especially in the last sector – great to start from P1 in race one, everything is looking good, so far so good,” the Frenchman said.
McLaughlin was a little disappointed with his execution – but not his Volvo S60.
“It just wasn’t the perfect lap and that’s why we’re not pole – congrats to Shane,” he said.
“The car has been a pleasure to drive … we’re as good as anyone, best chance we’ve had for a long time.”
Their teammates will start on the second row, with Whincup third and James Moffat fourth in the session.
David Reynolds in fifth and Lee Holdsworth in seventh were pleased with their results, while Bathurst winner Will Davison qualified eighth.
James Courtney was caught out with his hot lap, catching traffic warming up for the flying lap and narrowly avoiding swerving Todd Kelly. Kelly was hit with a two grid spot penalty to start 23rd.
Courtney and Craig Lowndes were 11th and 12th, with tough days for Brad Jones Racing’s Tim Slade and DJR Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard in 22 and 23.