Shane van Gisbergen will be the last driver out on track for Sunday’s Top-10 Shootout to determine the grid order for the final V8 Supercars Championship race of the season.
The TEKNO Autosports driver put down a time of 1:27.990 around the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit with one minute left of the twenty-minute session, edging out Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin by just under a quarter of a second.
It was the Polestar GRM Volvo team’s best session of the season, with McLaughlin’s teammate David Wall – whose two-year contract was terminated a year early thanks to a string of poor performances – putting in easily his strongest performance of the year with the ninth-fastest time.
Wall, however, faces the threat of a grid penalty amid allegations that he impeded another driver during a frenetic session where getting a clear track proved vital.
The final open qualifying session of the season had a predictable ‘end of term’ feel to it, where Wall was among a number of drivers who appeared not to use their mirrors when on slow laps. Nissan Motorsport owner/driver Rick Kelly was one such victim and had a hot lap completely ruined by Scott Pye – who was trundling back to the pits after hitting the barriers at Turn 1 – but he later managed to recover to finish fourth-fastest on his final lap.
Newly-crowned series champion Mark Winterbottom was the third-fastest driver, electing not to make a second timed run in order to save a set of tyres for the Shootout and the afternoon’s 74-lap, 250-kilometre race.
Saturday’s double race-winner Jamie Whincup was fifth-fastest in his Red Bull Racing entry – another victim of traffic – ahead of James Courtney, David Reynolds, Michael Caruso, Wall and Tim Slade.
Brad Jones Racing duo Jason Bright and Fabian Coulthard narrowly missed out on making the Shootout, locking out the sixth row of the grid. They finished ahead of Craig Lowndes, who also struck traffic on his final flying lap.
The Top-10 Shootout for the final race of the season gets underway at 1:30pm local time (GMT +11).
|2015 V8 Supercars Coates Hire Sydney 500 – Race 36 Provisional Qualifying Top-10|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO Autosports||1:27.9903|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 0.2275|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing Australia||+ 0.3488|
|4.||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.3633|
|5.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 0.4227|
|6.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||+ 0.4709|
|7.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.4743|
|8.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.4937|
|9.||David Wall||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 0.5546|
|10.||Tim Slade||Walkinshaw Racing||+ 0.5659|
Image via Motorsport.com
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