Scott McLaughlin has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the penultimate race of the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars season.
The 24-year-old took pole position in an incredibly tight qualifying session Saturday while title rival Jamie Whincup clocked in fifth.
Qualifying for Race 25 began with a big moment for Whincup, who locked up the rear brakes on the way down into Turn 1. He was far from the only driver to find the edge and cross over it during the 20-minute session. Mark Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard, David Rynolds and even McLaughlin found themselves making missteps during qualifying.
After five minutes, it was Michael Caruso out front with a 1:09.9651, but he was later eclipsed by Shane van Gisbergen at a 1:09.9483.
In the pits, an incident nearly broke out as Reynolds backed out of his stall and into the path of Chaz Mostert. The latter was forced to get on the brakes hard to avoid a collision.
McLaughlin's qualifying session didn't go very smoothly either. While preparing to enter the hairpin, he was forced to the inside of the slower car of Tim Blanchard, thus causing him to miss the apex and run wide. Blanchard was then investigated for the impeding the DJR Team Penske driver's lap.
McLaughlin made another go at it with four minutes and 30 seconds to play, rocketing to the top of the board with a 1:09.9065. Whincup attempted to respond and although he got within a tenth of the pole time, his lap (1:09.9988) was only good enough for fourth.
He was then knocked down another position to the inside of Row 5 by Reynolds, who launched himself from eighth to the outside of the front row with a 1:09.9163.
Van Gisbergen and Caruso will instead share the second row on the grid. Rick Kelly will join Whincup on Row 3, completing the top six. Will Davison, Fabian Coulthard, James Courtney, and Mostert rounded out the top ten.
|1||17||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG-X||1'09.9065||133.893|
|2||9||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1'09.9163||133.874|
|3||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1'09.9483||133.813|
|4||23||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1'09.9651||133.780|
|5||88||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1'09.9988||133.716|
|6||15||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1'10.0306||133.655|
|7||19||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.0485||133.621|
|8||12||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1'10.0839||133.554|
|9||22||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.2208||133.293|
|10||55||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.2222||133.291|
|11||5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.2357||133.265|
|12||8||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.2764||133.188|
|13||34||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.2778||133.185|
|14||7||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1'10.2900||133.162|
|15||14||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.3398||133.068|
|16||33||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.3637||133.023|
|17||2||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.4097||132.936|
|18||18||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.4300||132.897|
|19||6||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.4544||132.851|
|20||888||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.5014||132.763|
|21||99||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.5039||132.758|
|22||78||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1'10.6040||132.570|
|23||3||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1'10.9527||131.918|
|24||21||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1'11.0797||131.683|
|25||56||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG-X||1'11.1154||131.617|
|26||62||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VF||1'11.2466||131.374|