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Qualifying report
Supercars The Bend

The Bend Supercars: Kostecki storms to Saturday pole

Brodie Kostecki was in a class of his own during qualifying for Saturday's opening Supercars race at The Bend.

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The series leader was unstoppable throughout the three-part session, topping each and every segment.

His Q2 time was an impressive 1m49.862s, however he saved the fireworks for Q3 where he gapped the field with a 1m49.581s.

That not only secured pole but left him three-tenths clear of the chasing field led by Thomas Randle.

The dominant showing in qualifying followed a poor run in practice this morning, Kostecki just 12th fastest in the second session.

"We didn't unload too well, but everyone dug in deep and worked really hard and I couldn't believe it when I rolled out for qualifying," said Kostecki. "The car felt awesome and the time reflects on that.

"It's a big credit to the whole team. I wasn't a happy camper [after practice 2] so I'm happy to redeem myself after coming back from crashing in America, too."

For Randle, second place matched his career-best qualifying effort at the same circuit last year.

That ended in disaster, though, when a failed clutch left him stranded on the grid and he was collected by Andre Heimgartner, the impact leaving them both in hospital (although without serious injuries).

Cam Waters was third fastest ahead of Broc Feeney, who was next best of the major title contenders after Kostecki.

Chaz Mostert qualified fifth while Shane van Gisbergen recovered somewhat from his practice woes and qualified sixth.

Matt Payne led the way for Grove Racing in seventh ahead of Will Brown, Heimgartner and Jack Le Brocq.

Nick Percat showed some promising form in qualifying, just missing out on Q3 as he ended up 11th on the grid.

That's despite the WAU driver battling a nasty flu.

Dick Johnson Racing made a strategic blunder in the second segment of qualifying that proved costly. The two Shell Fords were sitting first and third after the first runs, the team deciding to roll the dice on those times being good enough to get through.

That would have left them with a set of tyres for Q3, however they never got a chance to use them after ending up 13th (Will Davison) and 14th (Anton De Pasquale).

"We just got bumped," said De Pasquale. "It's hard because there's been a few times this year when we've gone and we probably shouldn't have, and then you don't have a set of greens and you end up at the back of the top 10 anyway.

"We probably just misread it, but if we used another set, we wouldn't have another set to go at it anyway. I'm not too upset. We'll fight from here, our cars aren't too bad."

The first 100-kilometre race of the weekend kicks off at 4:30pm local time.

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