Scott McLaughlin has scored the first pole position of his V8 Supercars career – and Volvo’s first in its return to Australian touring car racing – in qualifying for today’s 200-kilometre feature race at Winton Raceway.
Amazingly, this was the talented youngster’s first ever pole position in his Australian touring car career. Despite winning the 2012 Dunlop V8 feeder series championship, McLaughlin had never once stuck his car on pole position.
“I have been trying to do for about four years, in the Dunlop series and here. To do it in the V8 Supercars main game is a special thing,” he beamed after this morning’s qualifying session.
“But I couldn’t do it without these guys and to get the first pole for Volvo is a special thing.”
The New Zealand drivers once again dominated qualifying, with McLaughlin and his compatriots, Shane van Gisbergen and Race 1 winner Fabian Coulthard, claiming a Kiwi 1-2-3 on the grid. The trio was covered by just seven-hundredths of a second on the stopwatch.
Despite the solid pace he has shown all weekend, McLaughlin hasn’t been able to convert this into results around the low-speed Victorian circuit this weekend. He retired from yesterday’s opening race with an engine failure, while Race 2 saw him have to pit from the lead with electrical issues.
Behind the top three came Mark Winterbottom, Craig Lowndes and James Courtney, with Rick Kelly the best of the Nissan runners in seventh. The Walkinshaw Holdens of Tim Slade and Nick Percat were next up, with Race 1 podium finisher Dale Wood completing the top ten.
Defending series champion Jamie Whincup had another poor qualifying session by his own standards, managing no better than the thirteenth-fastest time in his Red Bull Racing Holden. Garth Tander also qualified well down the field in his HRT Holden.
Surprisingly off the pace were the Erebus AMG Mercedes’ of Will Davison (20th) and Race 2 winner Lee Holdsworth (22nd), who sandwiched Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo S60.
Today’s 200-kilometre race kicks off at 3:30pm local time (GMT +10).
2014 V8 Supercars Winton 400 – Race 3 Qualifying:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||1:21.509|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.061|
|3.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.078|
|4.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.127|
|5.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.153|
|6.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.221|
|7.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 0.250|
|8.||Tim Slade||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.328|
|9.||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.337|
|10.||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.379|
|11.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.398|
|12.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.413|
|13.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.455|
|14.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 0.475|
|15.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.491|
|16.||Russell Ingall||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.517|
|17.||James Moffat||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 0.525|
|18.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.557|
|19.||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.593|
|20.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 0.640|
|21.||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 0.725|
|22.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 0.816|
|23.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 0.825|
|24.||Jack Perkins||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.856|
|25.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.856|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship