Jamie Whincup will hope to close the points gap to Supercars Championship leader and Saturday-race-winner Shane van Gisbergen after edging out his Red Bull Racing teammate to pole for the second leg of the Castrol Gold Coast 600.

It was a tense one-lap shootout around the 2.9-kilometre Surfers Paradise street circuit. After squeaking into the Shootout, Scott McLaughlin was first on track in his GRM Volvo and posted a solid 1:11.030 time that the next five runners – including his teammate James Moffat, Ford duo Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and Craig Lowndes – were unable to topple.

Former Gold Coast 600 winner David Reynolds looked set to atone for an early DNF in Saturday’s race by moving to the top of the timesheets with a time of 1:10.997, nearly hitting the wall at the chicane in his Erebus Motorsport Holden.

Facing a ten-place grid drop for turfing Fabian Coulthard’s DJR Team Penske Ford into the wall in Saturday’s race, Garth Tander clocked a lap time that was good enough to put him sixth on the grid.

The HRT driver’s woes were compounded when his lap time was disallowed for taking too much kerb at the beachside chicane; this puts him down to a tenth row starting position, near his Saturday nemesis whose battered car was incredibly repaired overnight.

Van Gisbergen was the penultimate runner and clocked a terrific middle sector to pip Reynolds by just two-hundredths of a second, before Whincup went even better by 0.089 seconds to clinch pole.

With another Red Bull Racing front row lockout, Reynolds and McLaughlin will start from third and fourth respectively ahead of Lowndes, Mostert, Moffat, Winterbottom and Davison.

Tander’s grid drop promotes Nissan Motorsport’s Michael Caruso – knocked out of contention for the Shootout by just 0.0032 seconds by McLauighlin – will start from tenth place.

The earlier provisional qualifying session was interrupted by a red flag just a few minutes after the pit lane was opened when rookie driver Shae Davies slammed his Erebus Motorsport Holden into the barriers at Turn 11. With too little time to repair his car before the race, he will take no further part in proceedings this weekend.

The second 300-kilometre leg, run over 102 laps, will start at 2:40pm local time (GMT +10).

2016 Australian Supercars Castrol Gold Coast 600 – Race 23 Top-10 Qualifying Shootout
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time
1. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Engineering 1:10.8872
2. Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Engineering + 0.0891
3. David Reynolds Erebus Motorsport + 0.1101
4. Scott McLaughlin Polestar GRM Volvo + 0.1426
5. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Engineering + 0.2562
6. Chaz Mostert Rod Nash Racing + 0.6583
7. James Moffat Polestar GRM Volvo + 0.7027
8. Mark Winterbottom Prodrive Racing Australia + 0.8043
9. Will Davison TEKNO Autosport + 1.0946
10. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team disallowed

Image via Motorsport.com

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Geoff Burke

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