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Qualifying report

Sydney Supercars: Brown on pole, De Pasquale last

Will Brown took pole position for tonight's Supercars race at Sydney Motorsport Park after favourite Anton De Pasquale was ruled out of qualifying with a gearbox issue.

Will Brown, Erebus Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

It was a rollercoaster session for Erebus rookie Brown, who only just snuck through Q1 on an early hard tyre lap.

He did switch to the soft late in the first segment of qualifying to try and shore up his passage to Q2, but ran out of time to get a lap started.

What seemed liked a misstep quickly became and advantage for Brown once he was through Q2, effectively leaving him with an extra set of softs to play with.

And once on those softs Brown and teammate Brodie Kostecki quickly became a force, Kostecki edging Brown by 0.07s at the top of the times in Q2.

Brown then decided to run early in Q3, his 1m29.039s proving good enough to earn him a first career pole.

"I wasn't happy [in Q1], I was getting up [engineer] Tommy [Moore] a bit," said Brown of the early near-miss.

"But it probably got us through to here!

"It's bloody awesome. The guys have done a fantastic job, I'm pumped. I'll be going for that win, we'll have a big crack in the race and see where we end up."

Jamie Whincup went closest to knocking Brown off pole, the gap back to the seven-time series champion just 0.02s.

Series leader Shane van Gisbergen was fourth fastest ahead of Will Davison, while Kostecki would only manage fifth after topping Q2.

Nick Percat, Tim Slade, Jack Le Brocq, Todd Hazelwood and Cam Waters rounded out the best 10.

The biggest shock of the session came in Q1 when overwhelming pole favourite De Pasquale was forced out of the session with a gearbox issue.

He'll now have to come from the very back of the grid in tonight's 32-lap opener.

"I couldn't change gears," said De Pasquale. "I rolled out [on the out-lap], grabbed second gear and that was the only gear I had for the whole lap. It was trying to change gears by itself and all this weird stuff.

"We'll change [the gearbox] for the race and see how many cars we can pass."

There were a number of other surprises, including Macaulay Jones and Garry Jacobson putting in impressive performances to qualify 11th and 12th respectively.

Bryce Fullwood out-qualified his Walkinshaw Andretti United teammate Chaz Mostert, although it was a tough session for the Holden squad, the pair 13th and 14th.

Further back, super sub Luke Youlden didn't quite get out of Q1 but did out-qualify his Kelly Grove Racing teammate Andre Heimgartner. They will start 21st and 24th respectively.

Between the KGR pair is the Team 18 drivers, Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom only running the hard in Q1 and not making it out.

Thomas Randle, meanwhile, was 17th fastest on the road but will start the race from 20th courtesy of a three-place penalty.

The infringement was for impeding fellow wildcard Kurt Kostecki in Q1, the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver forced into a wild off-track excursion after Randle got in his way.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.039    
2 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.067 0.028 0.028
3 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.109 0.070 0.041
4 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1'29.130 0.091 0.021
5 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.166 0.126 0.035
6 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.454 0.415 0.288
7 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1'29.594 0.555 0.139
8 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1'29.639 0.600 0.044
9 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.153 2.114 1.514
10 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT      
11 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.918 0.879  
12 22 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.064 1.025 0.145
13 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.148 1.109 0.083
14 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.168 1.129 0.019
15 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1'30.235 1.196 0.066
16 34 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.275 1.236 0.040
17 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1'30.389 1.350 0.113
18 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.483 1.444 0.093
19 35 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.486 1.447 0.003
20 27 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'33.188 4.149 2.702
21 26 Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 1'30.879 1.840  
22 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.942 1.903 0.063
23 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.060 2.021 0.118
24 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1'31.068 2.029 0.007
25 19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.076 2.037 0.008
26 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT      

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