Payne powers to provisional pole, Feeney misses Shootout

20 Apr
Matt Payne was one of three Kiwis to make Saturday's Boost Mobile Shootout, with Broc Feeney only 13th
  • Matt Payne claims Race 7 provisional pole at Taupō

  • Payne leads Ford quartet, with points leader Will Brown seventh

  • Broc Feeney to start 13th, Brodie Kostecki 15th

Matt Payne has delighted his home fans with provisional pole in Boost Mobile Qualifying at the ITM Taupō Super400, with Broc Feeney missing a Shootout berth.

Payne, 21, was one of three Kiwis to make Saturday's Boost Mobile Shootout, along with rookie and Shootout debutant Ryan Wood (#2 Mobil 1 Truck Assist Ford) and Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Chevrolet).

The #19 Penrite Ford driver led a quartet of Mustangs, with Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Ford), Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford) and Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Ford) rounding out the top four ahead of surprise packet Cameron Hill (#4 Supaglass Chevrolet), Wood and championship leader Will Brown (#87 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet).

Brown's teammate Feeney #88 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet), who is just 17 points behind, could only qualify 13th ahead of returning champion Brodie Kostecki (#1 TFH Hire Chevrolet), who suffered an off at Turn 4 en route to 15th.

There were several other major scalps, with David Reynolds' (#20 TRADIE Beer Chevrolet) 16-consecutive Shootout run ending with 21st. Reynolds was ahead of James Golding (#31 PremiAir Nulon Chevrolet), local hero Richie Stanaway (#26 Penrite Ford) and Nick Percat (#10 Bendix Chevrolet), with the last-start winner 24th and last.

The top 23 drivers were covered by a second, with the top six within 0.3s.

Final minute: Payne claims provisional pole, Feeney 13th

"It was really tough," said Payne, who claimed his maiden Supercars pole at the last round in Melbourne.


"It was pretty hectic. The track was pretty dicey in some places. Like, on the new surface, you couldn't really tell if it was dry or not. So, it was tough to sort of pick out the right line to use.

"But, yeah, we got there in the end, managed to do a good time when it mattered."

Drivers rolled out under overcast skies, and despite passing showers, the entire 15-minute session ran green and on slick tyres.

Mostert ran off piste to the rest of the field and pitted early, with the benchmark time dropping from a 1:34s to a 1:31s in quick time.

From there, drivers turned up the wick as a drying line emerged, with Heimgartner clocking a 1:29.1917s before Payne went quickest with a 1:28.7016s.

Highlights: Qualifying 7 2024 ITM Taupō Super400

Kostecki bowled a wide at Turn 4 and wiped out a styrofoam board, but recovered to eighth ahead of the final runs. By that time, Brown was on the bubble in 10th, with Payne fastest.

The times continued to improve, with Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy's Electrical Chevrolet) turning in a 1:28.6099s before Brown powered to the top with a 1:28.3049s. De Pasquale and Davison both improved to make it a Shell V-Power one-two, with Mostert then splitting the Dick Johnson Racing Fords.

Hill impressed to third, before Payne went fastest of all with a 1:27.9684s, the only 1:27s lap of the session, to secure provisional pole by just 0.0940s over De Pasquale, with Mostert 0.1669s down in third.

Hill and Wood ended up fifth and sixth ahead of Brown, with Cam Waters (#6 Monster Energy Ford), Heimgartner and Tim Slade (#23 PremiAir Nulon Chevrolet) rounding out the top 10.

Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Ford) and Fullwood ended up 11th and 12th ahead of Feeney, who missed the top 10 for the first time this season.

Supercars will return to the track on Saturday with the Boost Mobile Top Ten Shootout at 10:00am AEST/12:00pm NZST. The Shootout will set the grid for the first race of the weekend, the 60-lap Race 7, which will start at 1:05pm AEST/3:05pm NZST.

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