Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen traded times at the end of qualifying on the Gold Coast, while Garth Tander fought back from yesterday’s controversial finish to take P3.
The front runners go through to an ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout to determine final starting positions, though Tander has a 10 grid spot penalty hanging over his head after his part in the accident with Fabian Coulthard.
Miraculously, DJR Team Penske was able to turn that Falcon around and have him run in the qualifying session, to start 18th – which is better than yesterday’s qualifying effort of 23rd.
“It’s good, obviously not quick enough but if you sat me down this time yesterday and said you’d be here for qualifying, I’d say you’re kidding,” Coulthard said.
“It did everything we expected but we’re a bit off on speed here … this style of circuit has never really suited these cars.”
The session was red flagged early with Erebus Motorsport’s Shae Davies going in hard at turn 11 – reportedly he will not take part in this afternoon’s race.
Van Gisbergen lost his fastest time at the end of the session with a kerb strike, and Whincup delivered his 1min10.3169, 0.1323 seconds quicker than his teammate and yesterday’s winner.
Tander slotted in third with David Reynolds an impressive fourth.
“That’s qualifying around here, you’ve got to scrape it against the wall. We need to qualify as high up as we can given the penalty,” Tander said.
“It’s nice to be in the Shootout. We made a change in that session that really perked the car out.
“We want to stay inside the top five and take the penalty from there.”
Scott McLaughlin just managed to scrape into the 10 after coming home second yesterday, and was confident he’d have better pace in the shootout.
The cars run in reverse order, meaning McLaughlin’s Volvo will be first on track, followed by teammate James Moffat, Chaz Mostert, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, Craig Lowndes, Reynolds, Tander, van Gisbergen and Whincup.