Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin takes eighth season pole

Scott McLaughlin will start from pole for the eighth time this season later today, after eclipsing Jamie Whincup by 0.05s in qualifying in Townsville.

Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin takes eighth season pole
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Chaz Mostert, Tickford Racing
Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing Ford
Richie Stanaway, Tickford Racing Ford

Thanks to the warm, cloudy conditions the track was fastest early in the session, Craig Lowndes diving straight down to a 1m12.389s on his first run.

McLaughlin and Whincup then banked a 1m12.123s and a 1m12.179s respectively to go first and second quickest on the six-minute mark, while Shane van Gisbergen slotted into, a couple of tenths back.

All three did head back out on another set of greens later in the session, but the only to improve was van Gisbergen – and even then not by enough to overrun McLaughlin and Whincup's early times.

"I made a massive blue on the last run there so luckily no one went faster,” said McLaughlin.

“But we have a fantastic car and we’ll just see if we can do it in the race.”

David Reynolds ended up fourth fastest, finding gains through set-up late in the session despite the track not being as quick as it was at the start.

Lowndes was shuffled back to fifth with that early lap, while Mark Winterbottom showed the first signs of competitiveness from Tickford this weekend with the sixth quickest time.

Tim Slade will start seventh, Will Davison eighth, Fabian Coulthard ninth, and Rick Kelly as the best Nissan in 10th.

ClaDriverCarTimeGap
1 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.1239  
2 1 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.1792 0.0553
3 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.2319 0.1080
4 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.2795 0.1556
5 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.3892 0.2653
6 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.4036 0.2797
7 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.5121 0.3882
8 230 australia  Will Davison  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.5828 0.4589
9 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.5829 0.4590
10 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'12.6118 0.4879
11 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.6684 0.5445
12 99 australia  Anton de Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.7032 0.5793
13 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.7095 0.5856
14 25 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.7367 0.6128
15 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.7511 0.6272
16 56 new_zealand  Richie Stanaway  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.7808 0.6569
17 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.7834 0.6595
18 19 australia  Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.8893 0.7654
19 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.9366 0.8127
20 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore ZB 1'12.9887 0.8648
21 7 new_zealand  Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima 1'13.0089 0.8850
22 35 australia  Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG X 1'13.0759 0.9520
23 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1'13.0986 0.9747
24 34 australia  James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 1'13.1605 1.0366
25 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore ZB 1'13.1925 1.0686
26 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1'13.4843 1.3604
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