Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert has scorched to pole position with a scintillating Top-10 Shootout lap in qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race.
Driving the #43 BMW Team Schnitzer M6, the Tickford Racing Supercars driver rocketed around the Mount Panorama circuit with a sensational lap of 2:01.934 seconds, less than four-tenths of a second slower than Shane van Gisbergen’s lap record of 2:01.567 posted in qualifying in 2016.
Mostert’s time proved too quick for provisional pole-sitter Kelvin van der Linde, who managed to claim second-fastest in the #22 Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS with a 2:02.169.
The second #74 Jamec Pem Audi piloted by Christopher Haase claimed third-fastest ahead of the Pro-Am class #777 Buik Lamborghini driven by last year’s Bathurst 1000 winner Luke Youlden, which improved four spots from the earlier provisional qualifying session.
Supercars Championship runner-up Scott McLaughlin was fifth-fastest in the #47 YNA McLaren, while Tickford Racing Supercars driver Cam Waters managed to hustle the #55 Strakka Mercedes into sixth. That car was a late call-up to the Top-10 Shootout after the #100 BMW Team SRM entry was excluded from its original third-fastest provisional qualifying effort for a technical infringement.
Seventh-fastest was former F1 test driver and Formula E racer Robin Frijns, who made a mistake in the first sector driving the #37 WRT Audi entry.
The Dutchman wasn’t the only driver to make an error in the Shootout, with 2016 Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen running wide at Turn 1 and at The Chase in the #58 YNA McLaren which will start from eighth place.
Matt Campbell was another driver to come to grief in the Shootout, as he too ran wide at Turn 1 in the #12 Competition Porsche and was slowest of all in the one-lap dash. Ninth-fastest was claimed by the #17 Bentley driven by Steven Kane.
Campbell’s appearance as the sole Porsche driver in the Top 10 Shootout was something of a surprise. The German carmaker’s factory backed entries driven by Earl Bamber and Frederic Makowiecki could only manage 18th and 26th respectively.
A number of Supercars notaries struggled in qualifying. Lee Holdsworth caused a lengthy red flag during provisional qualifying when he turfed the #9 Hallmarc Audi into the wall, triggering a major clean-up for the marshals.
Defending Bathurst 12 Hour winner and reigning Supercars champion Jamie Whincup was another big name to miss out on a spot in the Shootout, unable to get the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes any higher than 16th fastest.
In the lower classes, the #23 Carrera Cup Asia crew claimed Class B qualifying honours with Ben Barker piloting the #4 Grove Motorsport Porsche to pole position with a hefty 1.2 second margin.
The GT4 class was a battle between the BMW M4 entries, with Aaron Seton (#30 Boat Works) edging out Cameron Hill (#44 SRM).
The Invitational Class saw Will Brown claim pole position in the #91 MARC II – effectively a Ford Mustang – by a comfortable margin.