Scott McLaughlin has upset the form guide by claiming pole position in Sunday’s Top-10 Shootout to determine the first five starting rows of the grid in the closing race of the Townsville 400.

Fourth-fastest in provisional qualifying and therefore seventh on the track for the one-lap qualifying dash, McLaughlin clocked a 1:13.4117 time which proved too much for the Prodrive Racing trio of David Reynolds, Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom.

The result marks a remarkable turnaround for McLaughlin, who has endured a nightmare sophomore season in his Volvo S60 after a dream 2014 campaign when he was a pole-winner on ten occasions.

Mostert’s lap was particularly untidy but ultimately still good enough for the outside front row, while championship leader Winterbottom – fastest in provisional qualifying – was only able to go fifth-quickest on his sole flying lap. He will start behind David Reynolds and Shane van Gisbergen, who locked out the second row of the grid.

Fabian Coulthard, Andre Heimgartner, Todd Kelly, Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison completed the top ten starting order.

2015 V8 Supercars Castrol Edge Townsville 400 – Race 17 Qualifying Top-10 Shootout
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time
1. Scott McLaughlin Wilson Security Racing GRM 1:13.4117
2. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew + 0.1620
3. Shane van Gisbergen Team Darrell Lea STIX + 0.3339
4. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team + 0.4261
5. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew + 0.4501
6. Fabian Coulthard Freightliner Racing + 0.4533
7. Andre Heimgartner Super Black Racing + 0.5471
8. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport + 0.6577
9. Lee Holdsworth Walkinshaw Performance + 0.7051
10. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport V8 + 0.9927

The provisional qualifying session saw Saturday race-winner Mark Winterbottom post the fastest time with a 1:13.2445, edging out Prodrive stablemates Mostert and Reynolds. In a great session for the four-car outfit, rookie driver Andre Heimgartner got his Super Black Racing entry into the top-ten as well.

The earlier session proved to be another disappointing affair for reigning champions Red Bull Racing, which hard Jamie Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes qualify 13th and 23rd-fastest. Lowndes again elected to complete just one timed run, saving a set of fresh tyres to use in the race.

Sunday’s 70-lap race starts at 16:15 local time (GMT +10).

Image via V8 Supercars Championship

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Geoff Burke

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