03 Mar 2018
STEWARDS have ruled Shane Van Gisbergen will start from pole position after an investigation into a breach of the track limits during his single-lap dash.
By Matthew Agius
IT'S an all-New Zealander front row for the Saturday race at the 20th Adelaide 500.
Shane Van Gisbergen posted, unquestionably, the lap of the weekend, perfectly guiding his No. 97 Red Bull HRT Commodore to pole position against the cream of the crop in qualifying.
He responded to countryman Scott McLaughlin's provisional pole lap established just minutes earlier to finish four tenths clear of second place.
McLaughlin - last year's qualifying supremo - will start alongside him in the Shell V-Power Falcon.
But the shootout was not without controversy.
Within a minute of completing his lap, Van Gisbergen was under review for exceeding the track limits at the Turn 7 exit.
It left his team sweating on the result, which was confirmed just an hour out from the official race start.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team argued that no advantage was gained for Van Gisbergen on his shootout lap despite crossing the yellow track limit line and team principal Roland Dane called for clarification to the track limits line in time for Sunday's second race.
“There's no performance advantage,” Dane told supercars.com.au.
“Just because some bloke, when he painted the line, decided to straighten out a tiny kink in the concrete line when it should be consistent all the way down…
“If there is no advantage gained then why would you get excited? It's fairly straightforward.
“I hope for tomorrow it's sorted out properly so there's no confusion.
“There's confusion in other places in the circuit as well, as they know. Just do it properly and get on with life, and the fastest bloke wins."
Although Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin have been the fastest men all weekend, they'll face a stiff challenge behind them.
James Courtney (Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Holden) has been strong across the weekend and qualified third fastest, while David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Holden) wrestled his car through his hotlap to fourth on the grid.
Jamie Whincup overcame an overnight repair job to hold provisional pole for the first half of the shootout, and eventually claim fifth on the grid.
Fellow veteran Mark Winterbottom put the Bottle-O Ford into sixth after showing pace in qualifying and the morning session.
Rick Kelly (Castrol Nissan), Will Davison (Milwaukee Ford), Nick Percat (Blackwoods Holden) and Lee Holdsworth (Preston Hire Holden) rounded out the top 10.
MORE ON ADELAIDE500.COM.AU
- Qualifying: Van Gisbergen fastest
- Your Saturday Planner for the Adelaide 500
- Davison: This weekend is about learning