GOLD COAST, Queensland, Australia — official release — Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac photo —
Shane van Gisbergen continued his recent V8 Supercars pole streak, clinching the ARMOR ALL Pole Award for Race 31 during the Top 10 Shootout at the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600.
The TEKNO Autosports driver was seventh out on track, with a gutsy lap of 1:11.32 second around the 2.98 km street circuit.
With three threatening names to follow in Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Scott McLaughlin, the Red Bulls didn’t dislodge van Gisbergen — with Whincup brushing the wall twice on his hot lap, and Lowndes having his time disallowed for using too much kerb.
It was a Kiwi stand-off with the final challenger, and while McLaughlin drove a wild lap, just holding onto the screaming Volvo, he was 0.0753 seconds off of P1, and will start alongside on the front row.
“I knew it just had to be done in the first sector, and that’s where (the car) was good,” van Gisbergen said. “I just had to get enough tyre temperature because it’s so hard get it up for that first lap. But yeah, awesome job and to be on pole is really cool.”
A new rule mandating tyre pressures recommended by tyre supplier Dunlop poses questions for teams and drivers, as they run the minimum 17psi for the first time on the soft tyres at the street event.
“The unknown is the tyre pressures … everyone’s in the same boat, so the hardest thing is going to be managing that. But we’re starting in the front, hopefully with clear air, and we’ve just got to keep the tyres a bit cooler and yeah, it will be great.”
Three of the four Walkinshaw Racing Commodores made the shootout, with Tim Slade the quickest of his teammates, just one-hundreth ahead of Garth Tander. Those two will start from the second row.
From there it is Whincup, David Reynolds, Lee Holdsworth, Nick Percat, Michael Caruso and Lowndes.
Lowndes was the big loser in the session, dropping from second in qualifying to 10th, while van Gisbergen progressed from fourth to first.