Photo: Supercars

Shane van Gisbergen ensures Holden qualifying sweep in Tasmania

Shane van Gisbergen delivered the Triple Eight Race Engineering team their first pole of the 2019 season thanks to a late flyer in qualifying for race eight of the Supercears Championship at Symmons Plains.

The Kiwi edged out compatriot Fabian Coulthard in a late flurry that ended the three-part elimination qualifying session, contested in cold and blustery conditions on Sunday morning.

It was van Gisbergen’s 27th pole of his career and the second straight for Holden this season.

David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom continued their strong weekends by locking out the second row while championship leader Scott McLaughlin could only manage fifth; only the second time he has missed the front row this season.

Anton DePasquale was sixth and Richie Stanaway an impressive seventh in a season-best performance for the Boost Mobile Racing team. Cameron Waters, James Courtney and Chaz Mostert completed the top ten.

As with Saturday’s similar session, Race 8 qualifying was furiously contested with tiny margins deciding who progressed and who didn’t.

Holdsworth, Mostert, Stanaway, Waters and de Pasquale made it through the first round of qualifying, Percat locked into 16th position on the grid when he missed the cut.

Other notable names to miss included Will Davison – who ran off on his hot lap, while Macauley Jones failed to set a time when he and several others came off the road at turn four.

The strange incident saw Jones run wide under brakes, only to be collected by Heimgartner’s Nissan in the process.
Several other cars, including Davison and Percat, were caught up in the incident that brought out a brief red flag while Jones’ car was recovered.

Jamie Whincup was the big domino to fall in qualifying two, the No. 88 Triple Eight Commodore managing only 13th fastest, complaining of straight line speed issues – while teammate van Gisbergen was sixth.

It continued a horror weekend for Whincup who spun out of qualifying on Saturday and then finished last in Race 7 after early contact damaged a tyre on his Red Bull Holden.

Fabian Coulthard topped the session with Winterbottom and Courtney next, McLaughlin and Reynolds also progressed into the final phase of qualifying in fourth and fifth respectively.

Richie Stanaway was the surprise of the session in 7th, Waters, de Pasquale and Mostert also making it through in an improved performance from the Tickford Mustangs.

Rick Kelly missed the cut for the final session by 0.01 seconds to qualify 11th for race 8.

Van Gisbergen then charged to the top of the leaderboard late in qualifying three to secure pole position, 0.0653s quicker than Fabian Coulthard.

McLaughlin could only manage fifth behind Reynolds and Winterbottom, while de Pasquale improved to sixth.

Stanaway was a career-best seventh, Waters eighth with Courtney and Mostert completing the top ten.

Mostert, however, was unable to complete his final lap after spearing off the road at turn four after being caught out by several cars going slowly – including van Gisbergen – who had already their final laps.

Earlier, McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, Coulthard, Winterbottom, Reynolds, Coutney, an impressive Rick Kelly, Pye, Whincup and Slade progressed directly to qualifying two by virtue of filling the top-10 positions in another intense practice session on Sunday morning.
Race 8 of the championship will be contested over 84 laps (200km) on Sunday afternoon at Symmons Plains.