VASC: Whincup Ends Pole Drought With Record Lap at Townsville

Jack Cobourn Featured, International, Supercars 0 Comments

Townsville, Queensland, Australia –Story By Race Chaser Online International Motorsport Correspondent Jack Cobourn —

Whincup TownsvileQ

Jamie Whincup races around the Townsville Street Circuit on his way to his first pole of the season. It was Whincup’s 68th pole position. (Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images AsiaPac photo)

After not having gained a pole since the 2015 season finale, Jamie Whincup was back on top for Saturday’s race at the Castrol Edge Townsville 400 at the Townsville Street Circuit. Whincup set a time of 1:12.144, the fastest a V8 Supercar has gone around the 1.78-mile course in its seven-year history.

Whincup said to V8 Supercars Media that it was hard work as the track conditions changed.

“It was a good lap,” Whincup said. “The track’s slowly deteriorating, but soft tires is always fun for qualifying, long 70 lap race though. I’m glad to be starting in the right position, it’s going to be a long day.”

The circuit was bathed in sunshine, and with Jamie Whincup having been fastest in practice, Triple Eight was looking good for the pole in the 20-minute session. Many drivers were complaining of handling problems, Triple Eight being one of them, but it was Whincup who took the early pole from Shane van Gisbergen.

It was James Courtney, though who snagged it with a quarter of the session gone in his National Rugby League-liveried Holden Racing Team Commodore, going faster by 0.004 seconds. Aaren Russell clipped the wall after riding the curbing too hard, a common issue on this street circuit, then was balked by Nick Percat, running a car with no livery. Percat was under investigation for his actions, and would wind up with a two grid spot penalty.

Dunlop Series driver Kurt Kostecki was having his first run in a main series car, replacing Lee Holdnsworth, who was injured at Hidden Valley. The 18-year-old, who actually works for Triple Eight on Van Gisbergen’s car, was running 25th, 2.1 seconds down on Courtney, but ahead of Chris Pither by the same amount.

Michael Caruso took the pole with a 1:12.565, 0.24 seconds ahead of Courtney, then Courtney got it back with a 1:12.437.Jason Bright had an agricultural moment at one of the “S” bends, cutting through the grass as his line into the first left-hander was covered by a slower car.

Halfway through the session, it was Courtney from Caruso, but then Whincup brought his best performance out to claim the lap record with a 1:12.144, 0.262 seconds ahead of Courtney, then Van Gisbergen went second with a 1:12.374, 0.230 seconds behind Whincup for a Triple Eight 1-2.

Van Gisbergen wanted some changes made so he could have a good run for pole, and with five minutes left, everyone was preparing for a final run with 2:30 left. With no Top Ten Shootout, this was it.

Van Gisbergen definitely improved, but was still 0.180 behind Whincup. Mark Winterbottom moved up to fifth, as did Chaz Mostert. But no one could beat Whincup, who secured his 68th pole with that blinding lap.

Top Ten Qualifying for Race 14

1. Jamie Whincup Holden 1:12.144
2. Shane Van Gisbergen Holden 0.180
3. James Courtney Holden 0.292
4. Chaz Mostert Ford 0.310
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford 0.311
6. Will Davison Holden 0.351
7. Tim Slade Holden 0.396
8. Michael Caruso Nissan 0.421
9. James Moffat Volvo 0.428
10. Fabian Coulthard Ford 0.432

Townsville, Queensland, Australia –Story By Race Chaser Online International Motorsport Correspondent Jack Cobourn —

After not having gained a pole since the 2015 season finale, Jamie Whincup was back on top for Saturday’s race at the Castrol Edge Townsville 400 at the Townsville Street Circuit. Whincup set a time of 1:12.144, the fastest a V8 Supercar has gone around the 1.78-mile course in its seven-year history.

Whincup said it was hard work as the track conditions changed.

“It was a good lap,” Whincup said. “The track’s slowly deteriorating, but soft tires is always fun for qualifying, long 70 lap race though. I’m glad to be starting in the right position, it’s going to be a long day.”

The circuit was bathed in sunshine, and with Jamie Whincup having been fastest in practice, Triple Eight was looking good for the pole in the 20-minute session. Many drivers were complaining of handling problems, Triple Eight being one of them, but it was Whincup who took the early pole from Shane van Gisbergen.

It was James Courtney, though who snagged it with a quarter of the session gone in his National Rugby League-liveried Holden Racing Team Commodore, going faster by 0.004 seconds. Aaren Russell clipped the wall after riding the curbing too hard, a common issue on this street circuit, then was balked by Nick Percat, running a car with no livery. Percat was under investigation for his actions, and would wind up with a two grid spot penalty.

Dunlop Series driver Kurt Kostecki was having his first run in a main series car, replacing Lee Holdnsworth, who was injured at Hidden Valley. The 18-year-old, who actually works for Triple Eight on Van Gisbergen’s car, was running 25th, 2.1 seconds down on Courtney, but ahead of Chris Pither by the same amount.

Michael Caruso took the pole with a 1:12.565, 0.24 seconds ahead of Courtney, then Courtney got it back with a 1:12.437.Jason Bright had an agricultural moment at one of the “S” bends, cutting through the grass as his line into the first left-hander was covered by a slower car.

Halfway through the session, it was Courtney from Caruso, but Whincup slapped a fast lap out, with a 1:12.144, 0.262 seconds ahead of Courtney, then Van Gisbergen went second with a 1:12.374, 0.230 seconds behind Whincup for a Triple Eight 1-2.

Van Gisbergen wanted some changes made so he could have a good run for pole, and with five minutes left, everyone was preparing for a final run with 2:30 left. With no Top Ten Shootout, this was it.

Van Gisbergen definitely improved, but was still 0.180 behind Whincup. Mark Winterbottom moved up to fifth, as did Chaz Mostert. But no one could beat Whincup, who secured pole.

Top Ten Qualifying for Race 14

1. Jamie Whincup Holden 1:12.144
2. Shane Van Gisbergen Holden 0.180
3. James Courtney Holden 0.292
4. Chaz Mostert Ford 0.310
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford 0.311
6. Will Davison Holden 0.351
7. Tim Slade Holden 0.396
8. Michael Caruso Nissan 0.421
9. James Moffat Volvo 0.428
10. Fabian Coulthard Ford 0.432

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