The young Volvo driver takes another pole as Whincup maintains his championship form.
After an eventful start to the dual qualifying sessions leading up to today’s two races, the #33 Volvo driver, Scott McLaughlin, took a last minute shot at the pole and came out on top for race 33 with a 1:31.393.
“I’m trying my hardest. We can’t win the championship but can definitely win that,” said McLaughlin. “Best way to win races is start from pole and we’ve done that a few times, we just have to win races now."
Red Bull on the prowl
As predicted, however, the Red Bull Commodores were not far behind. Craig Lowndes was hot on the heels of the young Volvo driver but had to settle for second position with a 1:31.479.
“We just need to settle the rear down a little bit… the track was coming towards us at the end, but if we get a bit more rear stability the car will get fastest,” said Lowndes.
He was followed closely by his teammate and current championship leader, Jamie Whincup, who posted a 1:31.649. Mark Winterbottom and Michael Caruso will round out the top-five for the start of race 33.
An unfortunate incident involving contact between Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen during the warm-up lap led to neither driver able to record a lap during both qualifying sessions.
"He was on new tires to do a run. I was on warm up tires to get the car warmed up. He pulled to the right. I thought it was to let me go... I hope they can fix it," said SVG on the incident.
Race 34 qualifying
Ten minutes later, the gates opened and the cars were released for the second and final qualifying session of the day.
Out of the gates, the two Red Bull team cars had pace but ‘Frosty’ desperately needed to start from the front. In the end, he was beaten out by his rival, Whincup, who posted a 1:31.057. It was bittersweet for the Ford Performance Racing driver, however, as he will start beside Whincup on the front row after recording a 1:31.189.
Lowndes, in a strong show a form he’s been missing in the latter part of the season, will start from third followed by Todd Kelly and, once again inside the top-five, Michael Caruso.
Starting from the back
Races 33 and 34 and scheduled to begin later today and will feature 23 laps around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.