Scott McLaughlin has ended the V8 Supercars Championship season jointly tied with Jamie Whincup in qualifying honours after claiming his tenth pole position of the year for the final race of the season.

The Volvo driver emerged on top in a thrilling one-lap Top-10 Shootout for pole position, edging out Garth Tander by three-hundredths of a second around the tight confines of the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit.

Scott McLaughlin

McLaughlin claimed the tenth pole position of his season.

Having qualified seventh-quickest in the preliminary qualifying session, McLaughlin was the fourth man to post a time in the Shootout, clocking a 1:28.314 to beat provisional pole-sitter James Courtney. His effort was all the more impressive given a brief sprinkle of rain had fallen before his lap got underway.

The track remained dry for the rest of the session, but each of the following runners fell short; Tander came closest, grazing the wall with his HRT Holden on his flying lap.

Shane van Gisbergen, the fastest driver in the earlier provisional session, starts third-fastest, ahead of Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, Rick Kelly, Scott Pye and Chaz Mostert. Jamie Whincup and David Reynolds share the fifth row of the grid, with both drivers having their times disqualified after triggering the kerb sensor at Turn 3.

Van Gisbergen was impressive in the opening session, clocking a 1:27.905 time midway through the session on scrubbed tyres, which no one was able to better in the final minutes when the entire field – van Gisbergen included – bolted on brand new Dunlop rubber.

The final seconds proved decisive in sorting out the Top-10 Shootout contenders. Tander slotted into second-fastest ahead of Whincup, Reynolds, Winterbottom and Pye, who makes a one-lap session for the first time in his career in his swansong outing for Dick Johnson Racing.

The opening session saw a number of notable drivers fail to make the top-ten cut, including the BJR Holdens of Fabian Coulthard (11th) and Jason Bright (12th), while Craig Lowndes’ disastrous weekend continued with just the 18th-fastest time.

Race 36 pole-winner Will Davison also had a session to forget, lopping his Erebus AMG into a wild spin as he exited the final corner; he starts in 17th place, two spots behind Robert Dahlgren, who ended his V8 Supercars sojourn with the 15th-fastest time in one of his best qualifying performances.

Series returnee Marcos Ambrose’s inauspicious comeback continued, qualifying his XBOX DJF Ford 23rd-fastest.


2014 V8 Supercars Sydney NRMA 500 – Race 38 Qualifying:

‘Top 10 Shootout’ Team / Entry Result
1. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo 1:28.314
2. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.032
3. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.208
4. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.250
5. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.448
6. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.619
7. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.783
8. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.853
9. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden no time
10. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford no time
Q1 Qualifiers Team / Entry Result
11. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:28.741
12. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:28.817
13. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan 1:28.842
14. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:28.941
15. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo 1:28.941
16. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:28.953
17. Will Davison^ Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG 1:28.953
18. Craig Lowndes^ Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:28.995
19. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG 1:29.098
20. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford 1:29.126
21. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:29.365
22. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:29.638
23. Marcos Ambrose XBOX racing DJR / Ford Falcon FG Ford 1:29.782
24. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford 1:29.796
25. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan 1:30.083.
26. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan excluded

Images via Christian Hartung

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