Pole sweep for Brad Jones Racing as Percat and Hazelwood go quickest
Brad Jones Racing has reason to celebrate before this afternoon’s two races at Townsville after their drivers Nick Percat and Todd Hazelwood were able to secure their first ever Supercars pole positions in qualifying.
A hard couple of rounds for the Albury based team were forgotten when their young guns were able to jump to the top of the timesheets in the two sessions respectively, highlighted by a front row lock-out for the weekend’s closing race where Hazelwood will start from pole with Percat alongside him.
Percat’s pole lap came after the chequered flag had dropped in the opening qualifying session with the BJR driver edging out yesterday’s race winner Scott McLaughlin by 0.08 of a second, only just getting up over the DJR Team Penske #17.
Following on from yesterday’s form, Cam Waters was able to stick his Tickford Racing entry into third on the grid with the Triple Eight machines of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup behind him.
Both Anton de Pasquale and Andre Heimgartner were unable to set a lap time, having to start from the last row of the grid in the day’s opening race thanks to issues with their Erebus Motorsport and Kelly Racing entries.
Heimgartner had reason to be angry in the second qualifying outing after being impeded by both Erebus cars of de Pasquale and David Reynolds, the pair going slow on an out lap while the Kelly Racing car was coming through on his first flying tour.
Despite going fastest in the middle sector of his lap, Mclaughlin was impeded by Garry Jacobson coming to the line, the Matt Stone Racing driver going slow through the final turn and ending up with the DJR Team Penske car up his rear bumper.
Late runs for the Brad Jones Racing cars saw Percat provisionally take pole but his team-mate Todd Hazelwood got the advantage by 0.0220 of a second to take his first ever pole position, locking out the front row for BJR.
Chaz Mostert was able to improve on his qualifying pace to take third on the grid in the Walkinshaw Andretti United #25, pipping de Pasquale who was under investigation for the incident with Heimgartner, just a spot in front of Whincup.
McLaughlin ended up dropping to tenth at the end of the session while van Gisbergen could only manage 12th on the grid, continuing on for a tough Saturday where he recorded a DNF after a power steering failure.
Race one kicks off at 1205 local time, running for 39 laps before the final race of the four-weekend long run finishes things off at 1440.