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Pukekohe Supercars: Whincup pips McLaughlin for pole by 0.005s

Jamie Whincup edged title rival Scott McLaughlin by just 0.005s to secure pole position for today's crucial 200-kilometre race at Pukekohe.

Pukekohe Supercars: Whincup pips McLaughlin for pole by 0.005s
 Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
 Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
 Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford

It was McLaughlin that set the first representative time of the 20-minute session, the DJR Team Penske driver with a 1m03.053s on his opening run.

By the time the session was four minutes old Shane van Gisbergen had broken into the 1m02s, with a 1m02.958s to go fastest. That time lasted barely a minute, before Mark Winterbottom banked an impressive 1m02.673s to claim top spot.

At the midway point of thesession Winterbottom improved to a 1m02.588s, although that wasn't enough to stop McLaughlin storming to the top with a 1m02.520s.

That gave the Penske Ford the advantage heading into the final shootout in the final three minutes of the session, but ultimately it wasn't enough. Unable to improve on the final run, McLaughlin was denied by a stunning 1m02.514s from Whincup with 90 seconds to go, just 0.005s separating the pair.

The pole is just Whincup's second of the season.

"The car was good, we really maximised that last lap," said Whincup.

"Heading out with green tyres, I had to pull it all out. I took a risk; I could have ended up P20, but got the pole."

Chaz Mostert improved on his final run to grab third, his 1m02.535s leaving him just 0.02s off pole, while Winterbottom ended up fourth with a 1m02.572s on his final lap.

Cam Waters capped off an impressive session for Prodrive Racing with in the inside of the third row, ahead of Tim Slade, who made a small gain on his final run to qualify sixth.

Yesterday's race winner Shane van Gisbergen went from 11th before the final runs to seventh with a 1m02.776s, edging out fellow title long-shot Fabian Coulthard.

James Moffat and David Reynolds rounded out the Top 10.

In a remarkably close session, the top 23 cars were separated by less than a second, while the entire 26-car spread was just 1.4s.

ClaDriverCarTimeGap
1 88 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.5148  
2 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'02.5203 0.0055
3 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'02.5356 0.0208
4 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'02.5723 0.0575
5 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'02.6307 0.1159
6 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.7379 0.2231
7 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.7767 0.2619
8 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG/X 1'02.8333 0.3185
9 34 australia  James Moffat  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.8608 0.3460
10 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.8944 0.3796
11 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9093 0.3945
12 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9402 0.4254
13 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1'02.9407 0.4259
14 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9650 0.4502
15 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9705 0.4557
16 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'02.9720 0.4572
17 19 australia  Will Davison  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9973 0.4825
18 56 australia  Jason Bright  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'03.0178 0.5030
19 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.0221 0.5073
20 22 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.0664 0.5516
21 7 australia  Todd Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'03.1051 0.5903
22 99 australia  Dale Wood  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.3685 0.8537
23 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1'03.4227 0.9079
24 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.5416 1.0268
25 62 australia  Jack Perkins  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.6548 1.1400
26 3 australia  Aaren Russell  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.9883 1.4735
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Auckland
Location Pukekohe Park Raceway
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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