Whincup blitzes to Race 24 pole by 0.005s over McLaughlin


Image: Speedcafe.com

Jamie Whincup has scored pole position by 0.005s for Race 24 at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint after beating title rival Scott McLaughlin to the fastest lap in Qualifying.

The Red Bull Holden Racing driver set a 1:02.514 to take him to the top on his last flying lap in dry conditions, a time that would not be beaten in the dying seconds of the 20-minute session.

“Every pole’s a great feeling. Car was good, we just really maximised that last lap, so happy days,” said Whincup after claiming his 75th career Supercars pole.

“Headed out [in the last runs] with green tyres, [I was] P7 I think, and Scotty was on pole, so had to pull it all out, took a risk, could have ended up P20 but got pole.”

McLaughlin will start alongside Whincup on the front row, while Prodrive Racing’s Chaz Mostert qualified third and Mark Winterbottom fourth after holding top spot in the early stages of the hit out.

Saturday’s pole-man Cameron Waters was fifth fastest and only 0.1s off Whincup’s pole lap, followed by Brad Jones Racing’s Tim Slade and Race 23 winner; Shane van Gisbergen in seventh.

Fabian Coulthard is set to start from eighth after an overnight repair job on his #12 Falcon from a roll over in yesterday’s race, with James Moffat and David Reynolds rounding out the top ten.

Garth Tander just missed out on a spot in the top ten, qualifying eleventh ahead of Craig Lowndes who found the wall on his last flying lap.

Lowndes misjudged Turn 3, which then put him off line and into the tyre wall at Turn 4. However, he was able to reverse out and prevent a red flag late in the session.

Lee Holdsworth ended up in 14th after sitting near the pointy end of the leaderboard in the early stages, while Nick Percat finished 15th fastest.

Nissan Motorsport’s Rick Kelly grabbed 16th spot, ahead of Will Davison, Jason Bright, Scott Pye and James Courtney in 20th place.

Race 24 is scheduled to start at 16:10 NZDT.

Image: Speedcafe.com