Whincup scores final pole position of 2019

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/11/2019
  • By Connor O'Brien

Jamie Whincup has gone some way towards redemption at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500, claiming ARMOR ALL Pole Position for the season finale.

The penultimate runner in the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout, Whincup was more than two tenths quicker than the field, recording a 1:10.5551s.

The #88 driver was on track to complete a Red Bull Holden Racing Team one-two yesterday until running off the road in his final stint, dropping back to finish eighth.

He has rebounded in ideal fashion to secure pole for this afternoon’s 250km race alongside Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters, who fell just short in the Shootout after topping qualifying.

“That one meant a lot,” Whincup said.

“Went all out, track was obviously a bit slower than yesterday or even qualifying, but got the most out of the car.

“It’s a bloody good feeling to get pole around here.

“We just gave it all we had, obviously the time we're very, very happy with, but you've got to keep a wrap on it because 95 laps is a long way this afternoon.

“We'll have a little celebration of this right now and then focus on the race.”

Red Bull nonetheless has a mountain to climb in their bid to overhaul Shell V-Power Racing in the teams’ championship.

The Holden team enters the race 143 points behind and with Shane van Gisbergen starting from 21st, following a grid penalty.

The Shell cars meanwhile are well positioned, with Fabian Coulthard edging teammate Scott McLaughlin by 0.002s for third on the grid.

Scott Pye held top spot through the first half of the Shootout and ended up fifth, ahead of Penrite Racing duo Anton De Pasquale and David Reynolds.

Tim Slade will start eighth after running four used tyres, having going through his allocation of fresh rubber in qualifying this morning.

A number of the early runners struggled with the track conditions as the sun emerged, with cars sliding around the street circuit.

Lee Holdsworth could only manage a 1:11.4599s and will line up alongside James Courtney, who lapped slowest after missing the apex at Turn 8 in a wild lap.

Earlier, the back half of the starting grid took a reshuffle with Will Davison, Shane van Gisbergen and James Golding each copping three-place grid penalties for separate impeding infringements.

The trio will start 20th through 22nd, with Mark Winterbottom, Richie Stanaway and Simona De Silvestro the beneficiaries.

The 32nd and final race of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will get underway at 4:15pm.

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