Murray beats Allen, Bates in Bathurst qualifying

Dunlop Series
24 Feb
The scene is set for a thrilling first race of the Dunlop Series season at Mount Panorama
2 mins by James Pavey
  • Cooper Murray scores first pole of 2024 Dunlop Series

  • Murray beats Kai Allen, Zach Bates at Mount Panorama

  • All-Eggleston front-row for Race 1, which starts at 2:45pm local time

Cooper Murray has beaten Kai Allen and Zach Bates to the first Boost Mobile Pole of the new Dunlop Series season at the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

Just as he did last year, Murray (#88 Holden) has claimed first pole position of the season, with the young driver topping Boost Mobile Qualifying on Saturday.

Murray, who will race with Craig Lowndes in this year’s enduros, will share the Race 1 front row with Eggleston Motorsport teammate Allen (#1 Holden).

The margin between the two Eggleston Commodores was just 0.1342s, with Murray claiming just the second Super2 pole of his career.

Murray set the pace early on with a 2:06.5971s, before improving to a 2:06.2189s.

As the minutes wound down, no driver could get close to Murray’s time. Allen, who won last year’s Super2 title, got the closest, but an error at Hell Corner in the final minutes all but secured pole for Murray.

Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Bates (#25 Holden) was third, some 0.18s off the pace, while Aaron Cameron impressed to fourth in his #27 SCHRAMM Group Kelly Ford.


The new-for-2024 Boost Mobile Qualifying format for 2024 saw the field split on combined practice times, with the slower half into Group 1 and the quicker half into Group 2.

Super3 driver Cody Burcher (#15 Nissan) set the early pace with a 2:08.2526s in Group 1, but Murray put the field on notice with his 2:06.5971s on his very first flying lap in Group 2.

Bates was second with a 2:06.9115s, before Murray went even quicker with a 2:06.2189s next time by. Allen, meanwhile, moved to third with a 2:06.5311s.

With five minutes remaining, Murray led Bates, Cameron, Rylan Gray (#55 Ford), and Allen. Murray opted for a second set of new tyres, with Allen moving to second.

All told, 2023 Super3 champion Jobe Stewart (#99 Holden), Gray, Jarrod Hughes (#118 Holden), Zane Morse (#11 Ford), Brad Vaughan (#5 Ford), and Max Vidau (#17 Ford) rounded out the top 10.

Morse finished the session in the sand at The Chase after a suspected failure for the #11 entry. Burcher, the fastest of the Group 1 runners, was 14th overall.

The Group 1 session was declared early after Elliott Cleary (#19 Holden) locked up and became beached at Hell Corner with three minutes to go.

The first 40-minute race of the season, Race 1, will start at 2:45pm AEDT.

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