Chaz Mostert and Craig Lowndes have shared qualifying honours for Saturday’s sprint races at the Coates Hire Ipswich round of the V8 Supercars Championship at Queensland Raceway.
Chaz Mostert claimed his seventh pole position of the season in the all-Hard tyre qualifying session that would determine the grid for the opening sprint race of the weekend.
The #6 Ford Falcon FG X proved to be the class of the field, finishing almost a quarter of a second clear of Prodrive Racing teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom. Mostert elected to sit out much of the session, only emerging in the final minutes of play to put down what were the three fastest laps of the entire session in a demoralising display for the rest of the field.
The session was heavily dominated by the Falcon FGX, which saw all five runners qualify inside the top-ten.
Rookie driver Andre Haimgartner made it a Prodrive 1-2-3 in the session, qualifying right behind in his Super Black Racing entry.
Scott McLaughlin put his GRM Volvo fourth-fastest, while rounding out the top ten were Craig Lowndes, Shane van Gisbergen, James Moffat, James Courtney, Scott Pye and David Reynolds.
Series veteran Jason Bright will start at the rear of the field, throwing his BOC Holden off-track at Turn 3 on his hot lap.
|2015 V8 Supercars Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint – Race 18 Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||1:09.7755|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 0.2479|
|3.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 0.2612|
|4.||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||+ 0.2823|
|5.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing||+ 0.3000|
|6.||Shane van Gisbergen||Team Darrell Lea STIX||+ 0.3611|
|7.||James Moffat||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.3614|
|8.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||+ 0.3925|
|9.||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||+ 0.4032|
|10.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.4036|
The second qualifying session – run on the Soft Dunlop tyre – was a much more closely-fought affair, with Craig Lowndes just pipping Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert to claim the 41st pole position of his career.
Lowndes opted for a single run on new tyres, posting a 1:09.3102 to claim top spot by just 0.01 seconds.
Scott McLaughlin matched his opening session effort by going fourth-fastest again, just 0.04 seconds off Lowndes’ pace.
The young Kiwi finished ahead of Nissan’s Todd Kelly and Prodrive’s David Reynolds, who closed out the third row of the grid.
It was a good session for the Erebus Motorsport team, which had both of its Mercedes AMG E63s in the top ten for the first time this season; Ash Walsh qualified a career-best seventh-fastest and teammate Will Davison was ninth-quickest – the pair sandwiched reigning champion Jamie Whincup.
|2015 V8 Supercars Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint – Race 19 Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing||1:09.3102|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 0.0127|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 0.0206|
|4.||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||+ 0.0408|
|5.||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.1053|
|6.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.1217|
|7.||Ash Walsh||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 0.1555|
|8.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing||+ 0.1761|
|9.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 0.1786|
|10.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 0.2415|
Saturday’s two 20-lap races start at 14:25 and 16:30 (GMT +10).
Image via V8 Supercars Championship