Holdsworth tops Bathurst qualifying for Ford
A 12 months in the past it might not be unfair to say that Lee Holdsworth was a removed from blissful man after qualifying for the Bathurst 1000. The veteran driver clearly struggled within the moist timed session and would begin the 2019 ‘Nice Race’ from nineteenth grid place. He went on to complete the race 10 locations higher than that, however some had been suggesting that Holdsworth’s finest years might have been behind him.
The 15-year Supercars driver silenced his critics on Friday. He timed his quick laps to perfection and on the finish of the 45-minute qualifying session, which was interrupted by a crimson flag and ended early by mild rain, Holdsworth was on prime of the 25-car grid.
It was not by a lot. His Tickford Racing/Truck Help Ford Mustang’s time of 2m04.0243s was a mere 0.0108s away from Shane van Gisbergen within the Pink Bull/Holden Racing Workforce Holden Commodore — a distance of lower than two ft over the three.861-mile Mount Panorama circuit.
“We’ve nonetheless bought the Shootout clearly tomorrow, however that is my first time with a provisional pole at Bathurst,” mentioned a delighted Holdsworth, who will share his automobile Sunday with former rival and shut pal Michael Caruso.
“I’m simply stoked for Truck Help Racing, Tickford Racing, Sammy has carried out an superior job, my little mate ‘Caruse’ has been so good to me — I’m simply having fun with myself.
“It takes a little bit of confidence and generally that confidence takes some time to construct again up, nevertheless it’s actually there now.”
There seems to be little to decide on between the main Fords and Holdens, whereas van Gisbergen could also be on the lookout for an edge within the race within the type of his co-driver Garth Tander, the three-time race winner who’s making his twenty third begin within the occasion. Van Gisbergen additionally rued lacking out on his ultimate run due to the rain bathe.
“Our automobile is getting higher and higher,” he mentioned. “We had been slightly bit heavy , that’s why we had been doing these laps to burn gas and it might have been attention-grabbing to see that final run.”
Proper behind van Gisbergen was archrival Scott McLaughlin, who has already locked up his third straight Supercars title. The New Zealander, who subsequent weekend will make his IndyCar debut at St. Petersburg, had a quick lap negated by the crimson flag, however he got here again to take third within the DJR Workforce Penske/Shell V-power Ford Mustang.
McLaughlin, who gained the 2019 race in controversial circumstances, will share his seat Sunday with a brand new co-driver, Tim Slade. The highest 4 vehicles on the grid are coated by lower than one tenth of a second.
Proper behind was the person who many anticipated to problem McLaughlin for pole, Tickford’s Cameron Waters. Recent from a win at The Bend circuit, the teenager was lower than a tenth from pole, and likewise missed on on what might have been a sooner ultimate run. Waters will share his Monster Power Mustang with two-time race winner Will Davison.
Jamie Whincup was fifth quickest, the four-time race winner simply holding off McLaughlin’s teammate Fabian Coulthard. Whincup will share his Holden Commodore with seven-time race winner Craig Lowndes, whereas Coulthard has his common co-driver Tony D’Alberto in place.
Seventh quickest was the Erebus Motorsport/Penrite Oils Holden of Anton De Pasquale/Brodie Kostecki, forward of the Walkinshaw Andretti United/Home equipment On-line Holden of Chaz Mostert, who will group up with veteran co-driver Warren Luff.
James Courtney was ninth quickest within the Tickford Racing/Increase Cell Ford that he’ll share with Bathurst rookie Broc Feeney — who will flip 18 years previous on race day — whereas Nick Percat/Thomas Randle had been 10 within the Brad Jones Racing/R&J Batteries Holden.
The highest 10 grid positions might be decided by Saturday’s High 10 Shootout, during which the vehicles will run in reverse order, with Percat first out and Holdsworth final.
Simply lacking out on the highest 10 had been Bryce Fullwood within the Walkinshaw Andretti United/Middys Electrical Holden, Scott Pye within the Team18/DeWalt Instruments Holden and 2017 race winner David Reynolds, who has struggled for pace within the second Erebus Motorsport/Penrite )ils Holden.
Nevertheless, none of which will matter come Sunday, with reasonable to heavy rain forecast for many of the day. So agency is the climate forecast that race officers have introduced ahead the beginning time by half-hour, which means that the 161-lap race will now begin at 11:00 a.m., Australian Jap Summer season Time.
Provisional qualifying outcomes:
1 Lee Holdsworth (Aus), Tickford/Truck Help Ford, 2m04.0243s
2 Shane van Gisbergen (NZ), Pink Bull/HRT Holden, 2m04.0351s
3 Scott McLaughlin (NZ), DJR Penske/Shell Ford, 2m04.1035s
4 Cameron Waters (Aus), Tickford/Monster Power Ford, 2m04.1056s
5 Jamie Whincup (Aus), Pink Bull/HRT Holden, 2m04.2660s
6 Fabian Coulthard (NZ), DJR Penske/Shell Ford, 2m04.2813s
7 Anton De Pasquale, Erebus/Penrite Oils Holden, 2m04.4668s
8 Chaz Mostert (Aus), WAU/Home equipment On-line Holden, 2m04.4936s
9 James Courtney (Aus), Tickford/Increase Cell Ford, 2m04.5485s
10 Nick Percat (Aus), RJJ Batteries/Brad Jones Racing Holden, 2m04.5539s