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Golding takes shock provisional pole, Mostert 22nd

Supercars
14 Jun
James Golding has emerged a surprise pace-setter in Boost Mobile Qualifying at Hidden Valley Raceway
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  • James Golding takes shock Darwin provisional pole

  • Perth winner Chaz Mostert only Mostert 22nd

  • Broc Feeney out-qualifies teammate Will Brown

James Golding has emerged a surprise pace-setter in Boost Mobile Qualifying at Hidden Valley Raceway, with several shocks through the field in Darwin.

PremiAir Nulon Racing driver Golding is now the only driver in the hunt to win the Darwin Triple Crown, having ended Friday's action on top.

Golding claimed provisional pole ahead of Nick Percat and 2023 Darwin winner Mark Winterbottom, with Broc Feeney and Will Brown making it a Triple Eight four-five result.

Anton De Pasquale was the first Ford in the top 10 in sixth ahead of David Reynolds, Cam Waters and Andre Heimgartner.

The biggest shock was the lack of pace for Walkinshaw Andretti United, with Perth winner Chaz Mostert 22nd and Ryan Wood 24th.

“It's really challenging out there, with the heat up here in Darwin and getting the tyres dialled in right without sliding it too much and having some tyre left at the end of the lap there,” Golding said.

“So, pretty tricky, but yeah, managed to hold on to it. Credit to all the boys and girls here. We've been working really hard over the last couple of years, we're finally getting closer.

“Obviously the job's not finished yet. I wish there wasn't a Shootout now, but it's a good way to be certainly heading into tomorrow. We've got a lot of confidence.”

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Matt Payne opened proceedings with a 1:06.1956s, before Golding clocked a time quicker than any lap from 2023 — a 1:05.8655s — to go to the top.

Percat, Brodie Kostecki, and Jack Le Brocq went quicker than Payne, with Mostert only 13th after the opening runs.

The Triple Eight and Tickford Racing cars hit the track for their first runs, and Brown jumped to fifth on his first flyer with a 1:06.1151s.

However, Waters and Feeney moved to third and fourth with a 1:05.9742s and 1:05.9800s, with Golding holding firm over Percat by just 0.0714s.

At the midway point of the session, only Slade and De Pasquale hadn’t set laps, but the former turned up the wick and powered from 23rd to third, making it a PremiAir Nulon one-three.

Ahead of the final runs, Golding, Percat, Slade, Waters, Feeney, Kostecki, Le Brocq, Brown, Reynolds and Heimgartner completed the top 10, with Thomas Randle, Payne and De Pasquale just behind.

By that stage, Mostert was only 22nd, one position ahead of teammate Wood, with Waters the only Ford driver in the top 10.

Brown started the final runs with a 1:05.9017s, before being demoted by teammate Feeney’s 1:05.8965s.

Winterbottom vaulted to the top with a 1:05.8427s, before Percat edged ahead with a 1:05.7654s. However, Golding validated his early-session pace with a 1:05.6912s.

Track action will commence on Saturday with Practice 2 at 9:35am ACST/10:05am AEST, before the Boost Mobile Top Ten Shootout at 11:35am ACST/12:05pm AEST.

The first race of the weekend, the 48-lap Race 11, will get underway at 3:10pm ACST/3:40pm AEST.

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