Chaz Mostert has claimed his sixth pole position of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship season on the streets of Townsville, narrowly edging out Prodrive Racing stablemates Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds in a hotly contested qualifying battle.
The young gun edged out teammate and championship leader Winterbottom by just six-hundredths of a second, with Reynolds a further two-hundredths of a second adrift.
Closely chasing the trio was the Volvo S60 of Scott McLaughlin, who showed no nerves after his team was forced to perform a sudden engine change when his motor blew in this morning’s final practice session.
Fifth-fastest in the session was another Ford Falcon FG X, this time belonging to the ever-improving Scott Pye in the DJR Team Penske entry. Pye had held provisional pole after the first round of qualifying runs, but fell to fifth in the final minute and was ultimately beaten by just 0.14 seconds.
Defending champion Jamie Whincup finished the session sixth-fastest and best of the Holdens in his Red Bull Racing entry, recovering from a less than impressive final practice session.
He will start ahead of fellow Holden runners James Courtney, Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright, with the Erebus AMG Mercedes of Will Davison rounding out the top ten.
Street circuit specialist Shane van Gisbergen was eleventh-fastest in his TEKNO Holden, but was subsequently stripped of his qualifying times for a tyre infringement. The New Zealander was found to have fitted both scrubbed tyres and brand new tyres in the session, in breach of the series’ Sporting Regulations.
Series veteran Craig Lowndes managed just one run in the 20-minute session and effectively saved a set of brand new tyres to use in the afternoon’s race. He might need the strategy flexibility it gives him since he will start from a lowly thirteenth place.
Saturday’s 70-lap race starts at 16:15 local time (GMT +10).
|2015 V8 Supercars Castrol Edge Townsville 400 – Race 16 Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||1:12.8663|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 0.0620|
|3.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.0850|
|4.||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||+ 0.0902|
|5.||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||+ 0.1429|
|6.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing||+ 0.2428|
|7.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||+ 0.2429|
|8.||Fabian Coulthard||Freightliner Racing||+ 0.3785|
|9.||Jason Bright||Team BOC||+ 0.4010|
|10.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 0.4473|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship