Garth Tander has claimed a surprise pole position for the final Australian Supercars Championship race of the season at Sydney Olympic Park after topping the timesheets in the one-lap Top 10 Shootout session.

In the lanky West Australian’s final outing for the Holden Racing Team, the veteran was third on track after provisionally qualifying eighth-fastest in Sunday’s earlier qualifying session. He posted an impressive 1:27.152 time around the challenging street circuit to go more than a second clear of the Shootout session’s earlier runners.

Incredibly, his effort couldn’t be beaten by the seven other drivers who followed, although newly-crowned champion Shane van Gisbergen came closest, falling just 0.01 seconds shy in the final reckoning.

Third-fastest went to Tander’s teammate James Courtney to continue the outfit’s strong weekend; the former series champion was quicker than Tander through the first two sectors of his flying lap before fading in the final stages.

Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds was a tremendous fourth-fastest ahead of Tim Slade, Michael Caruso, Scott McLaughlin, Nick Percat and Todd Kelly.

Six-time champion Jamie Whincup will start from tenth place after fluffing his Shootout lap early on by running wide at Turn 1.

The Sydney 500 continued to be a tough affair for the Ford Falcon runners, with not a single ‘Blue Oval’ driver making the Shootout. Outgoing champion Mark Winterbottom was the best of the group, qualifying thirteenth-fastest.

The 250-kilometre season finale – which will also be the last ever Supercars race at Sydney Olympic Park – is scheduled for a 15:40 local time (GMT +11) start.

2016 Australian Supercars Coates Hire Sydney 500 – Race 29 Top-10 Shootout Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 1:27.1524
2. Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Engineering + 0.0136
3. James Courtney Holden Racing Team + 0.1307
4. David Reynolds Erebus Motorsport + 0.2148
5. Tim Slade Brad Jones Racing + 0.2931
6. Scott McLaughlin Polestar GRM Volvo + 0.3431
7. Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport + 0.5921
8. Nick Percat LD Motorsport + 1.1027
9. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport + 1.2824
10. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Engineering + 4.4179

Image via Edge Photographics

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Geoff Burke

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