Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin storms to pole

Scott McLaughlin stormed to the first pole position of the post-lockdown Supercars season with an impressive Top 15 Shootout effort in Sydney.

Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin storms to pole

Having been pipped by Triple Eight drivers in both practice sessions, McLaughlin wasted little time showing his hand when qualifying kicked off.

He got into the 1m28.3s on his first run in Q1, before improving the benchmark to a 1m28.157s to top Q2.

He then smashed through the 1m28s barrier in the Top 15 Shootout, a 1m27.965s leaving him on pole by a handy 0.2s.

"To get the first pole after being back is pretty tough and I’m pretty pumped for it,” said McLaughlin.

“The track rolled out probably not as fast as we thought and then as the rubber has gone down it’s gotten quicker and quicker.

“So I was fully expecting that was going to be a quick lap for everyone, so I just had to have a crack and see what happened.”

Shane van Gisbergen will share the front row with McLaughlin after making up four spots in the Shootout compared to Q2.

That was nothing compared to Cam Waters' improvement, though, the Tickford driver making up 11 spots to qualify third.

Chaz Mostert made up five spots to qualify fourth, while Whincup dropped three positions in the single-lap dash as he fell back to fifth.

Nick Percat and Lee Holdsworth made up five spots each to qualify sixth and seventh respectively, followed by Scott Pye, Anton De Pasquale and Fabian Coulthard, the latter half a second behind his Penske teammate.

Bryce Fullwood, Todd Hazelwood, Mark Winterbottom and Macauley Jones will start from positions 11-14. 

Rick Kelly will start 15th after picking up a kerb strike on his Shootout lap.

The biggest name missing from the Shootout was David Reynolds. 

The Erebus driver triggered a kerb strike on the first lap of his first Q2 run, the second lap on the same set of rubber only good enough for 14th.

However instead of going for a second Q2 run he rolled the dice on saving a set of tyres, the gamble not paying off as he was dumped down to 18th.

"We rolled the dice because if you make the Shootout you've got to have green tyres around here, otherwise there is no point partaking in it," he explained.

"Unfortunately we're starting 18th, which is dismal, but today is all about getting back into the rhythm. It's good to actually be back racing again, I'm just happy to be here."

James Courtney, meanwhile, didn't even make it out of Q1 on his Tickford debut. 

He'll start 21st after being bumped out by a late lap from Alex Davison – the man who replaced him at Team Sydney, and brother of Will Davison, the driver Courtney replaced at Tickford.

Qualifying results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT 1'27.965
2 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.176 0.210
3 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 1'28.260 0.294
4 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.285 0.319
5 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.292 0.327
6 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.345 0.379
7 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 1'28.385 0.420
8 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.395 0.429
9 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.466 0.500
10 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 1'28.497 0.532
11 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'28.715 0.749
12 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.132 1.166
13 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.230 1.265
14 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.359 1.393
15 Australia Rick Kelly
Ford Mustang GT
shares
comments
Supercars Sydney SuperSprint Qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel & more

Previous article

Supercars Sydney SuperSprint Qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel & more

Next article

Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin holds on in Sydney thriller

Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin holds on in Sydney thriller
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020