Photo: Supercars

Brodie Kostecki takes first Gen3 era pole position at Newcastle

Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus’s Brodie Kostecki claimed the first pole position of the Gen3 Supercars era on the streets of Newcastle after setting the fastest time in the Top 10 Shootout.

In what turned out to be an ultra-tight Shootout, where the top 10 drivers were split by under four-tenths of a second, Kostecki set a time of 1:11.848 to beat Tickford Racing’s Cam Waters by 0.152 seconds.

Defending Supercars champion Shane Van Gisbergen will start sixth for Red Bull Ampol Racing in the opening race later today.

Kostecki’s pace had been strong all weekend heading into qualifying, having topped the third free practice session with a time in the mid 1:11 range.

This continued into the pre-shootout session and, despite a slow start to the lap, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 produced an ultimate best final sector of the lap to edge out Water’s Ford Mustang by a little over one tenth of a second.

Waters, the best of the Fords, had to make do with second on the grid after a similarly committed lap.

He was sixth after regular qualifying, +0.260s down on Kostecki’s benchmark but produced an aggressive drive to set a best time of 1:12.000, just one thousandth of a second quicker than Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Broc Feeney, who starts third.

Nulon Racing’s Tim Slade starts fourth on the grid after somehow slotting in between Feeney and Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds, just one-thousandth of a second off a front-row start.

Behind Reynolds came Van Gisbergen, who was unable to replicate his pre-shootout position of third followig a costly lock-up at turn two. He starts sixth, ahead of Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert.

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner set the eighth quickest time on used tyres, having paced the opening free practice session, while Team 18’s Scott Pye and Nulon Racing’s James Golding rounded out the top 10.

Neither of the Shell V Racing DJR’s Ford Mustangs made it into the Shootout, with Will Davison the highest placed in 14th. Team-mate Anton De Pasquale struggled even more and will start 17th.

Of the rookies, Truck Assist Racing’s Cameron Hill was the standout performer, slotting into 19th positions, with Penrite Racing’s Matthew Payne 22nd. Tradie Racing’s Declan Fraser was 24th in his Ford Mustang.

The opening race of the season is scheduled to take place at 15:20 local time (05:20 CET).