ADELAIDE, South Australia — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac photos —
During qualifying for the opening race of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, six time V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup took the Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit lap record away from flying Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen.
That scenario just wasn’t good enough for van Gisbergen, however — the Tekno Autosports driver both reclaimed the track record and topped all challengers during Round One qualifying for Sunday’s 250 km finale to the Clipsal 500.
Van Gisbergen laid down a monster lap on his tenth and final lap during the 20 minute session, clocking a blistering 1:20.0084 in his STIX Candy Holden Commodore to lower Whincup’s record pace from day one qualifying by 0.0235 seconds.
“Jamie took the record off me yesterday so (I went and) got it back today,” van Gisbergen said. “The car was fantastic, a much better qualifying car than yesterday so I’m pretty stoked. I don’t love (the Shootouts) but we seem to do alright with them. (It) will be exciting though, it’s always good here.”
The Nissan of James Moffat showed stunning pace, with the No. 99 posting a time of 1:20.0341 seconds to slot in second-quick in the session. Moffat will be looking for his second career ARMOR ALL Pole Award in the Top Ten Shootout to be held at 12:10 p.m. local time on Sunday (8:40 p.m. EST Saturday).
HRT’s James Courtney was third-fastest (1:20.0757), with Race Two winner Fabian Coulthard fourth (1:20.0832) and Whincup shooting up from 23rd in the closing minutes to round out the top five (1:20.1335).
Nine of the top ten drivers put down their fastest lap of qualifying on their final circuit, including two-time series champion Marcos Ambrose, who clocked in ninth-fastest overall on his last flying lap and advances to the Shootout for the first time since he returned to the V8 Supercars Championship in December of 2014.
“I honestly forgot there was (a Top Ten Shootout),” Ambrose laughed after learning he had made the cut. “I was just trying not to be last.”
“I had a decent sleep and had a good think about it overnight. The guys came back with a stronger car for me. It’s really hard for me to get caught up when we’re in competition and to try and learn here,” Ambrose said. “Yesterday’s race was good to get a feel for the car. We made pretty big changes overnight to get comfortable, but I’m just appreciative of Roger Penske and Dick Johnson for believing in me and giving me a chance. I’m glad we’ve got them in this Shootout, and now we’re just going to go out and enjoy it.”
Tim Slade, Jason Bright, Scott McLaughlin, Ambrose and Garth Tander rounded out the ten drivers advancing to the Shootout.
Notables who did not advance to the final round of qualifying included Mark Winterbottom, who just missed the cut in 11th, Craig Lowndes (14th), Chaz Mostert (17th) and both of the Erebus Motorsport entries. Ash Walsh’s Mercedes-Benz was 18th, while teammate Will Davison clocked in 23rd.
The ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout will determine the first five rows of the grid for Sunday’s 250 km finale of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, with the green flag set for 3:25 p.m. local time (11:55 p.m. EST Saturday).
RESULTS: V8 Supercars Championship; ARMOR ALL Round One Qualifying; Clipsal 500 Adelaide; Feb. 29, 2015
- Shane van Gisbergen
- James Moffat
- James Courtney
- Fabian Coulthard
- Jamie Whincup
- Tim Slade
- Jason Bright
- Scott McLaughlin
- Marcos Ambrose
- Garth Tander
- Mark WInterbottom
- Rick Kelly
- Lee Holdsworth
- Craig Lowndes
- Michael Caruso
- Dale Wood
- Chaz Mostert
- Ash Walsh
- Todd Kelly
- David Reynolds
- David Wall
- Nick Percat
- Will Davison
- Andre Heimgartner
- Tim Blanchard