ADELAIDE, Australia — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac photo —
As always tends to happen in the first round of ARMOR ALL Pole Qualifying for a Sunday V8 Supercars Championship event, the final moments of the 20-minute session provided the biggest shuffle in the final rundown.
As time expired on the clock, qualifying expert and Kiwi fan favorite Scott McLaughlin took his No. 33 Wilson Security Volvo S60 to the top of the time sheets on his 13th and final flying lap, posting a best time of 1:20.4055 seconds to lead the field ahead of the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout and the third race of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
“I didn’t make it easy for myself at all – it’s a credit to the guys,” McLaughlin admitted. “This is a great car and now I just have to go good in the shootout.”
“My teammate’s meant to help me, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case this time! It’s bad luck for him and the boys, but I can’t believe we’re where we are (on the time charts). I was a bit worried there for a minute.”
McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert (1:20.4622) both jumped ahead of six-time series champion Jamie Whincup late in the going, knocking the Red Bull Racing Australia veteran down to third (1:20.5746) in the final order as positions 11 through 26 on the grid were set for the 250 km finale race in Adelaide.
Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen was fourth () on the pylon at the end of the session, but a late run by DJR Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard catapulted him into the top five and bumped Craig Lowndes from the top 10 that move on to the Shootout round for the pole.
Rick Kelly also vaulted up into the top 10 late, bumping Garth Tander’s Holden Racing team entry in the final moments as Kelly landed sixth. Race 1 polesitter Scott Pye, reigning series champion Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney and rookie Cameron Waters rounded out the top 10 — with Waters making the Shootout in his first event as a full-time V8 Supercars driver.
“I’m just (pumped) to be in the Shootout — I didn’t think I’d make it,” Waters said. “I’ve done one shootout in New Zealand in SuperTourers so I’ll just see how I end up … I just want a clean lap.”
Michael Caruso had a last-gasp effort for Nissan Motorsport that came up empty as he ended up being the first driver who failed to transfer to the Shootout and will start 11th on the grid. His lap of 1:20.9215 was three hundredths (0.03) of a second shy of transferring on.
Tander ended up 13th in the qualifying order, while Lowndes will start 17th.
The only major incident of round one qualifying was when James Moffat’s Volvo went up in a cloud of smoke at the final corner elading onto the frontstretch, dropping fluid that sent him spinning with nine minutes and nine seconds to go in the session and forcing a red flag for cleanup. If he can start the race, Moffatt will roll from last (26th) on the grid.
The ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout goes green at 12:55 p.m. local time on Sunday for the final race of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
RESULTS: V8 Supercars Championship; ARMOR ALL Round One Qualifying: Race 3; Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit; March 6, 2016
- Scott McLaughlin
- Chaz Mostert
- Jamie Whincup
- Shane van Gisbergen
- Fabian Coulthard
- Rick Kelly
- Scott Pye
- Mark Winterbottom
- James Courtney
- Cameron Waters
- Michael Caruso
- Will Davison
- Garth Tander
- Todd Kelly
- Nick percat
- Tim Slade
- Craig Lowndes
- Jason Bright
- Andre Heimgartner
- Lee Holdsworth
- David Reynolds
- Dale Wood
- Tim Blanchard
- Aaren Russell
- James Moffatt
- Chris Pither (DNS)
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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