Van Gisbergen takes provisional pole

Shane van Gisbergen will run last in the Top 10 Shootout in Townsville today after topping regular qualifying.

The Kiwi made gains on his final run to top the 20-minute session, putting a Shootout berth beyond doubt with a 1m12.258s.

That left him just under two tenths ahead clear of the field, and means he’ll run last in the single-lap battle for pole later this afternoon.

It’s awesome to finally get a good result. It’s not done yet, we’ve got the Shootout to go, but it’s a good start,” he said.

“Qualifying has been our weakness, but we’ve got a new set [of tyres] left for the Shootout, which is good.”

Scott McLaughlin was second fastest despite not improving on his final run, while Saturday race winner Jamie Whincup made a gain late in the session to slot into third.

Rick Kelly and David Reynolds were fourth and fifth quickest thanks to their middle runs, with Will Davison the only Tickford-built Ford to make the Shootout with the sixth quickest time.

Both Walkinshaw Holdens made it into the Shootout, James Courtney and Scott Pye split by Craig Lowndes, while Brad Jones Racing driver Nick Percat booked the 10th and last Shootout spot.

Nissan’s Michael Caruso was the unlucky man on the bubble, missing the Shootout cut-off by 0.001s, with Chaz Mostert the best of the ‘factory’ Tickford cars in 12th.

The biggest surprise of the session was Fabian Coulthard, the Penske driver left way down in 18th and more than half a second off his teammate.

Anton De Pasquale will start today’s race from the very back of the field, after hitting the Turn 3 wall on his first flying lap.

The stranded Erebus Holden sparked the session’s only red flag, which meant the rookie wasn’t able to take any further part despite driving the car back to the pits after it was towed out of the tyre barrier.

“I knew what was happening I just couldn’t stop it from happening, I was in far too deep,” he said.

“I’ve got to take it on the chin, say sorry to the boys and go again.”

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