SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia — Report by Race Chaser Online V8 Supercars Correspondent James Pike — V8 Supercars photo —
Scott McLaughlin made covering the first mortgage payment on his new home much easier during the final ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship.
McLaughlin claimed his 10th ARMOR ALL Pole Position of 2014, tying Jamie Whincup and claiming a share of the season-long ARMOR ALL Pole Award.
Though Whincup will go down in the record books as the official winner of the season-long award by virtue of the first tiebreaker (number of second-place starts over the course of the season), McLaughlin did take advantage of a special incentive put up by the program sponsor.
ARMOR ALL offered to match the $10,000 bonus that was going to Whincup if McLaughlin won the pole for this race — and that is precisely what the driver of the No. 33 Volvo S60 did.
“I [didn’t] want to get in trouble for jammin’ the wall, but I’m so pumped man!” McLaughlin said after qualifying had concluded. “It was awesome. To get pole and equal Jamie is a big achievement. He’s a six-time champion, he’s a great driver and I’ve equaled him — in poles, not in championships!”
Champion-elect Whincup’s time was not recorded after he picked up a curb strike on his flying lap. He was caught out braking into the chicane complex in turns two, three and four and overshot the corner.
“Sorry [to my guys],” Whincup said following his run. “[There was] quite a lot of rear locking out there [today] for some reason.”
David Reynolds also failed to record a time for recording a curb strike in the same corner; as a result, he will start 9th and Whincup will start 10th.
Garth Tander (1:28:3458) and James Courtney (1:28.5640) put in a strong showing for the Holden Racing Team, qualifying in second and fourth, respectively. Shane van Gisbergen could not match his pace from the first round of qualifying, dropping half a second in the Top Ten Shootout. He will start from the third position after his lap of 1:28.5215 seconds.
Mark Winterbottom rounded out the top five with a lap of 1:28.7616 seconds in his efforts to hold off van Gisbergen for second in the championship standings.
Rick Kelly, Scott Pye and Chaz Mostert will line up sixth through eighth, respectively — the final three cars to officially record a time in the Top Ten Shootout.
Green flag for the final race of the 2014 season, the 250 km mini marathon of the Sydney NRMA 500, will fly at 3:40 p.m. local time.