Reynolds beats McLaughlin in Sandown qualifying

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/09/2017
  • By Mitchell Adam

Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds beat championship leader Scott McLaughlin by 0.0026 seconds to top the ARMOR ALL qualifying session for the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

As teams play catch-up on dry-weather running following a wet Friday, Reynolds was the first driver to dip below the 1m09s barrier, leading Nissan’s Michael Caruso after the first runs with a 1:08.796s.

Mark Winterbottom displaced Reynolds with nine of the 20 minutes remaining, but his time at the top was fleeting as McLaughlin turned a 1:08.58s moments later.

Reynolds lowered the benchmark to 1:08.579s with seven minutes on the clock, while with Chaz Mostert in third, the top three drivers were split by just 0.0035s at the start of the final runs.

However a light shower in the closing stages meant improvements were few and far between, especially at the top, leaving Reynolds in first place.

Click here for the full qualifying result.

“We were really concerned after yesterday because we were really slow in the wet,” said Reynolds.

“But we didn’t change the car since we rolled out, we stuck with our base set-up and it’s obviously paid off. It’s a jet.

“I’m really proud of everyone. I couldn’t be happier. There’s still plenty of work to do, but it’s a good start.”

Winterbottom and Cam Waters in fourth and sixth made it three Prodrive Racing Australia Falcons inside the top six, the pair split by Fabian Coulthard.

Jamie Whincup was the best of the Triple Eight entries in seventh, having looked set to improve in the final two minutes before catching Simona De Silvestro late in the lap.

Team-mate Shane van Gisbergen fared even worse and could only manage 16th after a late spin exiting Turn 4, while Craig Lowndes was 11th.

Defending winner Garth Tander, Nick Percat and Practice 3 pacesetter Caruso rounded out the top 10.

Will Davison was the only other driver to have a moment, running wide at Turn 1 with six minutes left on his way to 19th in the Tekno Autosports Commodore.

The first of two 20-lap ARMOR ALL Race for the Grid sprints, to be contested by the co-drivers, starts at 1345 local time.

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