Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin grabs provisional Sunday pole

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Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin grabs provisional Sunday pole
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Nov 25, 2018, 12:36 AM

Scott McLaughlin will run last in today's Top 10 Shootout in Newcastle after coming out on a tense battle of the title contenders in regular qualifying.

McLaughlin and title rival Shane van Gisbergen set the pace in the final regular qualifying session of the season, the Penske driver coming out on top ahead of the single-lap dash that will determine the top 10 spots on the grid this afternoon.

David Reynolds led the way on the first runs, a 1m10.644s the benchmark until the mid-way point of the 20-minute session.

He was then demoted by the two Penske Fords, Fabian Coulthard going quickest with a 1m10.486s only to be immediately pipped by McLaughlin's 1m10.441s.

With seven minutes to go Richie Stanaway crashed heavily at Turn 6, his Tickford Ford left buried in the tyre wall which sparked a red flag.

At that point neither of the Red Bull Holdens were in the crucial Top 10 either, Jamie Whincup having spun on an earlier lap while purple in Sectors 1 and 2, while van Gisbergen had on his best lap of the session right as Stanaway crashed.

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That changed very quickly when the session resumed, however, Whincup going third quickest with a 1m10.555s before van Gisbergen charged to the top with a 1m10.427s.

That inspired McLaughlin to head back out for a final run with two minutes to go, the championship favourite taking bragging rights with a 1m10.305s.

“We’ve got a Shootout to go yet, but it was a nice little practice before that. It was a bit of a simulation and to do the time there was good,” said McLaughlin.

“I’ve learnt a few things across the night with lines and stuff, I’ve picked up a few things, but let’s hope we can do it in the Shootout.

“At the end of the day it’s just best execution, I need to just do my role, my best job for the team and if that’s winning this thing, it’s going to be that.

“If not, we’ll just fight to the end and see how we go.”

David Reynolds found time after the stoppage, moving into third on his final run with a 1m10.432s.

Coulthard didn't return to the session after the red flag, concerns over the steering rack in his Falcon, repaired overnight after his nasty crash yesterday, ruling him out of the final seven minutes.

Still, that earlier time was good enough for fourth.

James Courtney ended up fifth quickest, while Whincup was shuffled back to sixth in the closing minutes.

Tim Slade was eighth, Andre Heimgartner ninth, and Garth Tander taking the final spot in the Shootout with 10th.

The unlucky driver on the bubble was Cam Waters, who will start 11th after being dumped from the Top 10 by Heimgartner's lap right at the death.

Just seconds before Waters had looked to have done the same thing to Craig Lowndes, the retiring legend set to start his final race as a Supercars full-timer from 12th.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.3057  
2 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.4274 0.1217
3 9 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.4321 0.1264
4 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.4869 0.1812
5 25 Australia James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.5454 0.2397
6 1 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.5554 0.2497
7 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.5748 0.2691
8 14 Australia Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.5836 0.2779
9 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1'10.6251 0.3194
10 33 Australia Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.6658 0.3601
11 100 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.6900 0.3843
12 888 Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.6981 0.3924
13 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.7540 0.4483
14 55 Australia Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.8292 0.5235
15 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8640 0.5583
16 15 Australia Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1'10.8956 0.5899
17 230 Australia Will Davison Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.9552 0.6495
18 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.9859 0.6802
19 21 Australia Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.0310 0.7253
20 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.0869 0.7812
21 34 Australia James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.0966 0.7909
22 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 1'11.1031 0.7974
23 2 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.1260 0.8203
24 23 Australia Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1'11.1757 0.8700
25 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.3005 0.9948
26 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.4702 1.1645
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Newcastle
Author Andrew van Leeuwen