Reigning Bathurst 1000 champion David Reynolds has claimed pole position by just nine-thousandths of a second from Supercars Championship leader Jamie Whincup in an exciting Top-10 Shootout session at Mount Panorama.

The one-lap dash for pole position featured a surprise standout performance by Reynolds’ Erebus Motorsport teammate Anton De Pasquale. The youngster sensationally qualified inside the top-ten in Friday’s preliminary session in his maiden Bathurst 1000 outing, becoming the first rookie to do so since 2002. He held preliminary pole position for much of the Shootout until he was eventually beaten to top spot by Renolds, who was the penultimate runner in the session.

Reynolds’ time of 2:04.0589 beat De Pasquale’s effort by almost three-tenths of a second and when the last runner out, series leader Jamie Whincup, had an untidy first sector of his flying lap it looked like Reynolds had pole in the bag.

But Whincup drove hard over the remainder of his lap and whittled back the deficit, crossing the finish line an agonising 0.009 seconds shy of claiming pole position.

Whincup’s Red Bull Holden Racing teammate Shane van Gisbergen qualified fourth-fastest to give Holden a 1-2-3-4 sweep of qualifying.

Last year’s pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin looked set to mount his own challenge for pole position until the DJR Team Penske driver missed the apex at The Chase. The New Zealander had to settle for fifth on the grid, almost half a second down on Reynolds’ time.

Fellow Ford runner Cameron Waters – the only other driver representing the ‘Blue Oval’ in the Shootout – qualified sixth-fastest for Tickford Racing, ahead of the Holdens of Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) and James Courtney (Walkinshaw Andretti United).

In his last Bathurst 1000 as a full-time driver, series veteran Craig Lowndes qualified his Triple Eight Racing Holden ninth-fastest while Garth Tander (Garry Rogers Motorsport) was the first driver on track in the Shootout and will line up from tenth place.

The 1000-kilometre race, run over 161 laps, starts at 11:10 local time on Sunday (GMT +11).

2018 Australian Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – Top-10 Shootout
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time
1. David Reynolds Erebus Penrite Racing 2:04.0589
2. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Team + 0.0094
3. Anton de Pasquale Erebus Penrite Racing + 0.2909
4. Shane van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Team + 0.4796
5. Scott McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Team + 0.4905
6. Cameron Waters Monster Energy Racing + 0.6928
7. Nick Percat Repco Authorised Service + 0.7084
8. James Courtney Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing + 0.9445
9. Craig Lowndes Autobarn Lowndes Racing + 1.0246
10. Garth Tander Wilson Security Racing + 1.1128
2018 Australian Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – Preliminary Qualifying
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time*
11. Chaz Mostert Supercheap Auto Racing + 0.8040
12. James Golding Wilson Security Racing + 0.8627
13. Andre Heimgartner Castrol / Plus Fitness + 0.9265
14. Rick Kelly Castrol Racing + 0.9552
15. Fabian Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Team + 1.0696
16. Michael Caruso Industrial Athlete Racing + 1.2102
17. Richie Stanaway Racing + 1.3514
18. Scott Pye Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing + 1.3562
19. Mark Winterbottom The Bottle-O Racing Team + 1.4013
20. Tim Slade Freightliner Racing + 1.4563
21. Lee Holdsworth Preston Hire Racing + 1.5982
22. Tim Blanchard Team CoolDrive + 1.7340
23. Todd Hazelwood Bigmate Racing + 1.9283
24. Will Davison Milwaukee Racing + 1.9336
25. Jack Le Brocq Tekno Autosport + 2.0232
26. Simona de Silvestro Team Harvey Norman + 2.3281

*Denotes gap to fastest provisional qualifying time of 2:04.1093 posted by Jamie Whincup

Image via Supercars Championship

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Geoff Burke

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