Phillip Island Supercars: McLaughlin beats Coulthard to pole

Scott McLaughlin scores his seventh consecutive pole at the Phillip Island circuit with DJR Team Penske securing another front row lockout.

Phillip Island Supercars: McLaughlin beats Coulthard to pole
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford

For McLaughlin, it was his 51st career pole and his fifth of the 2019 season. “Thanks to my team, awesome car … I said to them that I didn’t want to go out again because that was literally as fast as I could go.

“The lap was awesome. There’s probably bits and pieces I could work on but replicating that would be quite hard.”

Q1

David Reynolds put up the fast time early in the opening session while Jamie Whincup struggled mightily for grip. Despite multiple runs at it, the Triple Eight Holden never could break into the top four, qualifying a disappointing 17th.

“We don’t deserve to be in Q2,” said a despondent Whincup. “Can't remember a car with so little grip … we’re really struggling this weekend. No performance.”

Andre Heimgartner was able to rocket to the top in the closing moments, solidifying his place in the next round of qualifying with a 1:30.861. Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom found themselves swapping the fourth and final transfer position with Pye ultimately prevailing by just half a tenth over the Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Holden.

“Just wasn’t a clean session that was unfortunate we had a car to get in then,” said Winterbottom. “I think another set of tires and we’re in comfortably.”

Along with Pye and Heimgartner, Reynolds and Nick Percat moved on to join the Q2 group.

Tim Slade placed 15th on the grid, Winterbottom 16th, Whincup 17th, James Courtney 18th

Q2

The DJR Team Penske drivers were, to no surprise, the first to break into the 1:29s with Fabian Coulthard going to the top with a 1:29.791. McLaughlin quickly followed suit with a fast lap of 1:29.689.

In the drop zone, both of the Erebus Motorsport drivers found themselves on the outside looking in when the clock ran out with David Reynolds 12th and Anton de Pasquale 13th.

While De Pasquale lamented that they couldn't push the tires harder as quickly as he would have liked to, Reynolds added, “Just probably the setup is a little off … it’s just not turning and driving good enough.”

Lee Holdsworth found himself pushed into the drop zone in the final moments by Will Davison and will start 11th. “Yeah, disappointed the car didn’t hook up the way I would have liked it to on the green tires. We were better than that, but 11th isn’t too bad.”

Q3

The pole-deciding round consisted of McLaughlin, Coulthard, Chaz Mostert, Pye, Cam Waters, Shane van Gisbergen, Rick Kelly, Heimgartner, Todd Hazelwood and Davison.

Mclaughlin made a statement early with a stellar 1:29.229 and then boxed it, confident the lap would hold up, and indeed it did. No one could even get close to the benchmark set by the reigning series champion as he collected his ninth pole in just 15 starts at Phillip Island.

The final round was mostly uneventful with the DJR Team Penske Mustangs locking out the front row, however, Coulthard was nearly six tenths down on his teammate with a 1:29.811.

Mostert, Heimgartner and Davison rounded out the top-five. “It’s amazing to get this car up there and a good reward for my crew,” said Heimgartner, who drove all the way from Q1 to the outside of the second row on the grid.

Kelly, Waters, Pye, Van Gisbegen and Hazelwood rounded out the top-ten.

Cla # Driver Car Time km/h
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin  Ford Mustang GT 1'29.2292 179.335
2 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard  Ford Mustang GT 1'29.8114 178.173
3 55 Australia Chaz Mostert  Ford Mustang GT 1'30.1031 177.596
4 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima L33 1'30.1429 177.518
5 23 Australia Will Davison  Ford Mustang GT 1'30.2857 177.237
6 15 Australia Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima L33 1'30.3020 177.205
7 6 Australia Cameron Waters  Ford Mustang GT 1'30.4441 176.926
8 200 Australia Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.4899 176.837
9 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.6059 176.611
10 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.6662 176.493
11 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth  Ford Mustang GT 1'30.6294 176.565
12 9 Australia David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.7432 176.343
13 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.7866 176.259
14 8 Australia Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.2873 175.292
15 14 Australia Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.9813 175.882
16 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom  Holden Commodore ZB 1'30.9823 175.880
17 88 Australia Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.2503 175.363
18 22 Australia James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.2946 175.278
19 33 New Zealand Richie Stanaway  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.3255 175.219
20 3 Garry Jacobson  Nissan Altima L33 1'31.4948 174.895
21 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima L33 1'31.6399 174.618
22 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.7737 174.363
23 21 Australia Macauley Jones  Holden Commodore ZB 1'31.9718 173.988
24 34 Australia James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 5'35.3082 47.723
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Phillip Island Supercars: McLaughlin fastest despite traffic woes

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