The excitement is building at Mount Panorama as the Repco Bathurst 1000 draws near, and this year’s top ten shootout promises to be a crowd-pleaser after last year’s unfortunate cancellation due to heavy rain and track conditions.
In a dramatic Friday qualifying session, Brodie Kostecki, the current leader of the Repco Supercars Championship, secured provisional pole position, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown on Sunday. However, it wasn’t without its share of heart-pounding moments, with both Will Brown and Declan Fraser experiencing heavy crashes during the session.
Behind the wheel of the Coca-Cola #99 Camaro, Kostecki showcased his prowess by clinching the provisional pole with a blistering lap time of 2 minutes and 4.664 seconds, putting him ahead by more than one-tenth of a second. As a result, he will enjoy the privilege of being the last to run in the Top 10 Shootout later today, a session that will determine the starting positions for the first five rows of the grid.
In contrast, Shane van Gisbergen, Kostecki’s main championship rival, left fans on the edge of their seats as he secured his spot in the all-important Shootout on his final lap, posting the seventh-fastest time.
The Shootout promises to be one of the most exciting sessions of the year, with six Ford Mustangs and four Chevrolet Camaros in the mix. Adding to the anticipation, seven former Kings of the Mountain will either be drivers or co-drivers, ensuring they’ll start at the front end of the grid for Sunday’s race.
Today’s ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout will run in the reverse order of the ten fastest lap times from today’s qualifying. The action kicks off with three Mustangs, including Will Brown, Kostecki’s teammate. Brown’s day began dramatically with a collision with the Turn 2 tire barrier, prompting the first red flag stoppage. Despite the setback, Brown and his #9 Coca-Cola Camaro returned to the track after quick repairs.
The session resumed but was halted again when Declan Fraser collided heavily with a concrete wall at The Cutting. This second stoppage worked in Brown’s favor, allowing his team to make swift repairs and get him back on the track.
When the times finally started to drop, Cam Waters became the first Gen3 car driver to break the 2-minute and 5-second mark, clocking in at 2 minutes and 4.990 seconds. James Golding secured the second fastest time of the session, with Anton De Pasquale just breaking the 2-minute and 4-second barrier. However, Kostecki maintained his lead by more than one-tenth of a second.
In the final runs, there were no changes at the top, with Kostecki securing the provisional pole ahead of Golding, delivering one of the session’s major surprises.
Red Bull’s Broc Feeney, partnered with the legendary Jamie Whincup this weekend, claimed the fifth-fastest time. Van Gisbergen, who spent most of the session outside the top 10, dug deep to secure seventh place, keeping his hopes of pole position alive.
Rookie Matt Payne, another Kiwi who showed promise in opening practice, ended up in eighth place, followed by Chaz Mostert and Will Davison, who secured the last two spots in the Shootout.
Despite the challenges, Will Brown, along with co-driver Jack Perkins, will start Sunday’s Great Race from the 17th position, as they couldn’t crack the top 10 with their repaired car.
What time is the Top 10 Shootout
The ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout, which will complete the grid, will round out the penultimate day of action at 5:05pm NSW time or 4:05pm QLD Time
Your Top 10 Shootout Order
Will Davison/Alex Davison – #17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang
Chaz Mostert/Lee Holdsworth – #25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford Mustang
Matthew Payne/Kevin Estre – #19 Penrite Racing Mustang
Shane van Gisbergen/Richie Stanaway – #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro
David Reynolds/Garth Tander – #26 Penrite Racing Mustang
Broc Feeney/Jamie Whincup – #88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro
Cam Waters/Moffat – #6 Monster Energy Mustang
Anton De Pasquale/Tony D’Alberto – #11 Shell V-Power Mustang
James Golding/Dylan O’Keeffe – #31 Nulon Racing Camaro
Brodie Kostecki/David Russell – #99 Coca-Cola Camaro