Chaz Mostert has set a new qualifying lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park, sweeping to pole position in both qualifying sessions ahead of Saturday’s pair of 60-kilometre sprint races.
Race 21 Qualifying: Mostert heads Prodrive front-row sweep
The opening ten-minute qualifying session was run on the Hard-compound Dunlop tyres and it saw Mostert claim his ninth pole position of the season ahead of Prodrive Racing teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom by just over one-tenth of a second.
The entire 25-car field waited until the final two minutes of the session before putting down proper qualifying efforts, making for a crowded 3.93-kilometre circuit.
Defending series champion Jamie Whincup was the first to clock a benchmark time, but he was ultimately pipped by the two Prodrive Fords when both put in better times.
The Prodrive and Triple Eight Engineering stables dominated the session and filled the top-six positions. Whincup shares the second row of the grid with David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing), while Whincup’s teammate Craig Lowndes was fifth-fastest ahead of Super Black Racing rookie Andre Heimgartner.
Series veteran Jason Bright put in an impressive showing in his BOC Holden to qualifying seventh-fastest, while Rick Kelly (Nissan Motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (Polestar GRM Volvo) and Scott Pye (DJR Team Penske Ford) rounded out the top ten.
Following James Courtney’s hospitalisation after a freak accident on Friday afternoon, the Holden Racing Team’s fortunes didn’t get much better in the first qualifying session. Courtney’s stand-in, Jack Perkins, qualified 20th-fastest while teammate Garth Tander failed to get out on track on fresh tyres when his car struck engine troubles.
|2015 V8 Supercars Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint – Race 21 Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Chaz Mostert||Prodrive Racing Australia||1:30.0837|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing Australia||+ 0.1151|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 0.1331|
|4.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.3060|
|5.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 0.4557|
|6.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 0.4598|
|7.||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.5253|
|8.||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.5291|
|9.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 0.5390|
|10.||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||+ 0.6198|
Race 22 Qualifying: Mostert lowers the lap record
The second qualifying session was run on the much grippier – but higher-wearing – Soft-compound rubber, and everyone took a cautious approach in a bid to preserve tyre sets with a late one-lap run.
Once again it was Whincup who posted the benchmark time, but again his efforts were frustrated by Mostert, who lapped under 1m29s and broke the qualifying lap record to claim back-to-back pole positions.
This time Whincup’s effort was good enough to get him on the front row, but he hasn’t claimed pole position since his qualifying lockout in the season’s opening round on the streets of Adelaide.
The Holdens of Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jonesd Racing) and Shane van Gisbergen (TEKNO Autosports) will share the second row, with both delivering significant improvements on their Race 21 qualifying efforts where they will line up in 12th and 21st respectively.
David Reynolds, Scott McLaughlin and Lee Holdsworth (Walkinshaw Performance) claimed fifth through seventh, ahead of Winterbottom, Andre Heimgartner and Will Davison (Erebus Motorsport).
Tander’s Holden at least managed to get out on track in this session, but he could only manage 16th-fastest, three spots ahead of Perkins.
Garth Tander’s Holden returned to the track for the second session, ending up 16th, three places ahead of Perkins.
|2015 V8 Supercars Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint – Race 22 Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Chaz Mostert||Prodrive Racing Australia||1:28.9583|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 0.1291|
|3.||Fabian Coulthard||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.2018|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO Autosports||+ 0.2069|
|5.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.2799|
|6.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 0.4329|
|7.||Lee Holdsworth||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 0.4692|
|8.||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing Australia||+ 0.5040|
|9.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 0.5063|
|10.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 0.5503|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media