Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin takes pole on home soil

Scott McLaughlin led a Kiwi one-two in qualifying at Pukekohe, edging compatriot and title rival Shane van Gisbergen for Saturday's pole position.

Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin takes pole on home soil

The Penske Ford driver stormed clear of the field with a 1m02.570s midway through the 20-minute session, van Gisbergen then falling 0.1s short with a last-gasp effort in tricky conditions.

It was van Gisbergen that set the early pace, diving straight into the twos with a 1m02.931s on his very first run as the rest of the field languished in the threes.

McLaughlin then put in an impressive two-lap run right at the mid-point in the session, going quickest by just over a tenth before stretching the margin to almost four-tenths with that 1m02.570s second time around.

At the same time Chaz Mostert joined the battle for pole, splitting the title contenders with a 1m02.931s.

The session was briefly red-flagged shortly afterwards, thanks to Simona de Silvestro beaching her Nissan on the outside of Turn 4.

The restart with eight minutes to go coincided with light rain falling on the back straight, however that didn't stop David Reynolds jumping into second with a 1m02.811s.

Van Gisbergen also made a small gain on his next run with a 1m02.965s, although it wasn't enough to overhaul Mostert in third. The Red Bull Holden driver did then make a more meaningful gain on his final run, jumping to second with a 1m02.688s.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, didn't even bother doing another run after the stoppage, the Kiwi's confidence that his earlier lap would be enough proving right by the tune of a tenth.

“The car’s awesome, we got in there just before the rain. I feel like we made an improvement,” said McLaughlin.

“I gave myself a kick up the arse yesterday and I thought, these guys gave me an awesome car, made it straight again. This is all for them.

“Me and Shane have been battling all year. I knew he was going to come back pretty hard there. It’s going to be an awesome battle, I’m pumped for it.”

Reynolds ended up third ahead of Mostert and Jamie Whincup, while Nick Percat ended up sixth despite swiping the Turn 4 wall late in the session.

Percat's BJR teammate Tim Slade was next, Cam Waters, Rick Kelly, and Anton De Pasquale rounding out the Top 10.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG X 1'02.5708  
2 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.6880 0.1172
3 9 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.8110 0.2402
4 55 Australia Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG X 1'02.9312 0.3604
5 1 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.9870 0.4162
6 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.9996 0.4288
7 14 Australia Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.0003 0.4295
8 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.0482 0.4774
9 15 Australia Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1'03.0848 0.5140
10 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.1172 0.5464
11 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1'03.1510 0.5802
12 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.1612 0.5904
13 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.1622 0.5914
14 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.1907 0.6199
15 25 Australia James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.2107 0.6399
16 2 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.2199 0.6491
17 23 Australia Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1'03.3233 0.7525
18 888 Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.3532 0.7824
19 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.4380 0.8672
20 33 Australia Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.4982 0.9274
21 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.5281 0.9573
22 230 Australia Will Davison Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.5733 1.0025
23 21 Australia Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.5979 1.0271
24 34 Australia James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.6204 1.0496
25 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG X 1'03.6413 1.0705
26 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 1'03.6477 1.0769
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