Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen storms to pole

Shane van Gisbergen will start today's first leg of the Townsville 500 from pole position thanks to a dominant Shootout lap.

Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen storms to pole

The Kiwi was in a league of his own in the single-lap dash, charging three-tenths clear of the field to convert his provisional pole from this morning.

Reflecting on the lap, van Gisbergen said he was able to back off in the final sector to save rubber based on the early splits.

"It's testament to the Red Bull Ampol Racing Team, the car is amazing," he said.

"I saw the splits through the middle of the lap and I just saved the tyre for the last sector. Unbelievable. It gave me more grip because I wasn't wheel-spinning.

"I'm just the lucky guy that gets to drive this car, it's a pretty special place to be at the moment."

Van Gisbergen will share the front row with teammate Jamie Whincup, who improved one spot compared to regular qualifying.

That was at the expense of Tim Slade, who, running roaded tyres after using an extra set of greens to get into the Shootout, dropped down to eighth.

Dick Johnson Racing pair Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale locked out the second row, the latter particularly impressive as he improved six spots on qualifying.

Nick Percat matched his qualifying effort to grab fifth on the grid ahead of Tickford pair James Courtney and Jack Le Brocq.

David Reynolds and Cam Waters both had scrappy laps as they qualified ninth and 10th respectively.

The first 250-kilometre race of the weekend kicks off at 3:45pm local time.

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