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Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin storms to Saturday pole

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Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin storms to Saturday pole
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Scott McLaughlin stormed to pole position for today's opening Supercars race in Darwin.

The DJR Team Penske driver ran second-last in the Top 15 Shootout, by which point Jamie Whincup had already set a formidable benchmark with a 1m06.991s.

However, despite suffering from an arm cramp during his lap, McLaughlin was able to best Whincup's effort by just over a tenth of a second.

Q2 pacesetter Shane van Gisbergen was then unable to go close to McLaughlin's time, having come into the single-lap dash without a set of green tyres.

"It's just a little bit of a cramp on the inside, I'll just have a few more waters and I'll be right." McLaughlin said of his arm issue. 

"Jamie did a great lap there. I thought if we could get a 6.8s we'd put a bit of pressure on Shane. He obviously used a couple of sets of tyres to get in the Shootout. 

"We're in a good spot, I'm really happy."

Whincup finished the Shootout second, a gain of five spots compared to Q2, followed by Fabian Coulthard, Mark Winterbottom and Cam Waters.

Erebus pair Anton De Pasquale and David Reynolds qualified sixth and seventh, the latter running wide at the final corner on his lap, while James Courtney recovered nicely from his Practice 2 crash to qualify eighth.

Van Gisbergen slipped back to ninth ahead of Scott Pye, Todd Hazelwood, Nick Percat, Andre Heimgartner, Rick Kelly and Jack Le Brocq.

Having been quick in both practice sessions, qualifying was a disaster for Chaz Mostert thanks to a driveshaft failure in Q1. As a result he'll start the first 110-kilometre heat from 20th.

"I came on the straight to finish my last flying lap on that set of tyres and there was a lot of vibrations in the cabin," he said. 

"When I plucked sixth at the start/finish line I got a box of neutrals."

Qualifying results: 

Cla Driver Car Time
1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.858
2 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.991
3 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.031
4 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.166
5 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.244
6 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.296
7 Australia David Reynolds
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.381
8 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.459
9 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.463
10 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.480
11 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.555
12 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.589
13 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.607
14 Australia Rick Kelly
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.736
15 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.781
16 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.662
17 Australia Alex Davison
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.861
18 Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.870
19 New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.933
20 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.876
21 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'08.115
22 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 1'08.208
23 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 1'08.230
24 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 1'08.579
Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin tops Practice 2, Whincup crashes

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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Hidden Valley
Author Andrew van Leeuwen