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