Townsville Supercars: Whincup on pole, McLaughlin misses Shootout

Jamie Whincup will start today's first Supercars race in Townsville from pole position, while his title rival Scott McLaughlin was a shock omission from the Top 10 Shootout.

Townsville Supercars: Whincup on pole, McLaughlin misses Shootout

After a relatively quiet showing across the two practice sessions, Whincup was on the pace throughout qualifying.

He was second fastest in the Q2 session that determined the Shootout, before expertly running down a solid early benchmark from David Reynolds to seal pole in the single-lap dash.

Even better for Whincup was that McLaughlin missed the Shootout altogether, opening the door for the Triple Eight driver to make inroads on the 177-point deficit in the title race this afternoon.

"[It's] crazy how it turned around," said Whincup.

"We had a bit of a lemon in practice, and then [race engineer David] Cauchi tuned it up for quali and then another little tweak for the Shootout. The car was fantastic, I was lucky enough to get the most out of it.

"It would have been good to have the #17 in there to see how exactly how quick we were against the whole field, but all in all we're happy with the pole."

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McLaughlin, meanwhile, was left to rue a mistake at Turn 2 on his crucial final run in Q2, which has left him a lowly 16th on the grid.

"I just made a mistake," said the runaway points leader.

"You get one set of tyres, one chance. Going into [Turn 2] I made a little bias change for that run, and I locked the rears and I was wide.

"In this series if you make one mistake, you're done. That's why love it."

Reynolds will start the race from second, a welcome boost after a dip in form, while former teammates Chaz Mostert and Cam Waters will share the second row.

Anton De Pasquale and Fabian Coulthard qualified fifth and sixth, while Shane van Gisbergen dumped three spots in the Shootout and slipped back to seventh.

Bryce Fullwood, James Courtney and Nick Percat rounded out the Top 10.

Cla # Driver Time Gap Interval
1 88 Australia Jamie Whincup 1'12.024    
2 9 Australia David Reynolds 1'12.178 0.153 0.153
3 25 Australia Chaz Mostert 1'12.301 0.276 0.122
4 6 Australia Cameron Waters 1'12.384 0.359 0.083
5 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale 1'12.439 0.414 0.054
6 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard 1'12.448 0.423 0.008
7 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 1'12.497 0.472 0.049
8 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood 1'12.685 0.660 0.188
9 44 Australia James Courtney 1'12.733 0.708 0.047
10 8 Australia Nick Percat 1'12.775 0.750 0.042
11 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth 1'12.557 0.532  
12 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood 1'12.569 0.544 0.011
13 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom 1'12.612 0.587 0.042
14 35 Australia Garry Jacobson 1'12.659 0.634 0.047
15 20 Australia Scott Pye 1'12.679 0.654 0.019
16 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 1'12.731 0.707 0.052
17 19 Australia Alex Davison 1'12.733 0.709 0.001
18 15 Australia Rick Kelly 1'12.744 0.719 0.010
19 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner 1'12.748 0.724 0.004
20 3 Australia Macauley Jones 1'12.944 0.919 0.195
21 4 Australia Jack Smith 1'12.993 0.968 0.049
22 34 Australia Zane Goddard 1'13.037 1.012 0.044
23 22 New Zealand Chris Pither 1'13.112 1.087 0.074
24 55 Australia Jack Le Brocq      
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