BROWN TOPS BATHURST QUALIFYING, WHINCUP MISSES SHOOTOUT

Will Brown celebrates. Pic: Supplied

EREBUS Motorsport’s rookie sensation Will Brown topped a thrilling Friday qualifying session at the Repco Bathurst 1000, as retiring legend Jamie Whincup missed the Top 10 Shootout.

Practice pacesetter Chaz Mostert led the way into the closing stages of the 40-minute session, before Brown shot to the top with his final effort of 2:03.8989s just over three minutes from the chequered flag.

The Supercars qualifying king of 2021, Anton de Pasquale, fired his last shot in the final minute but fell 0.0229s short, while Mostert’s last gasp lap put him 0.0781s shy of the top time.

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CoolDrive Racing’s Tim Slade leapt into the Shootout by jumping to fourth with the very last lap of the session, which pushed seven-time Supercars champion Whincup back to 11th.

Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters was fifth after failing to improve late, ahead of Brodie Kostecki in the second Erebus Holden and Whincup’s Triple Eight teammate Shane van Gisbergen.

Will Davison ensured Dick Johnson Racing has two cars in the Shootout with eighth ahead of Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat and Jack Le Brocq, who proved the speed of the Tickford package in 10th.

Teenage wildcard Broc Feeney also threatened the Shootout before ending up a still impressive 15th, less than a second from the pace and between Supercars champions Mark Winterbottom and James Courtney.

Will Brown qualified on provisional pole for the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Nathan Wong

Brown’s lap though was the clear highlight of an electrifying session; the 23-year-old punching the air with delight after completing the lap in the car he’ll share on Sunday with Jack Perkins.

“I said to Tommy (Moore, engineer) that I grew some balls out there and had a dip, that was bloody awesome!” Brown beamed post-session.

“To do a 2:03 around here, I didn’t care if I got pole or not, that’s a pretty wicked time.

“(Sponsor) Shaw and Partners put up $25,000 if we both got in the Top 10 Shootout for Feel the Magic, so we’ve taken $50,000 off them for charity!

“It’s going to be tight in the Shootout, but to get provisional pole in my first time (as a main driver) at Bathurst is pretty bloody cool.”

Whincup was meanwhile left to lament a lack of qualifying simulation running in practice for the #88 Red Bull Commodore.

“Plenty of excuses,” he said. “We didn’t get green runs in practice before, they’re a good opportunity to get up to speed, look at the data and then work away from there. That ultimately hurt us.

“The car was probably good enough, but once you start picking up that pace and getting right into the ‘fours’, the track’s almost completely different.

“Disappointed with that, but what can you do? Put your head down and try to make it up in the race. It won’t change our approach (to the race) at all.

“I think we’ve got a quick race car; we’ll see what Sunday throws at us.”

RESULTS: Qualifying, Repco Bathurst 1000

PosNo.DriverTeamCarTime/Gap
19Will BrownErebusHolden2m03.8989s
211Anton De PasqualeDJRFord+0.0229s
325Chaz MostertWAUHolden+0.0781s
43Tim SladeBRTFord+0.2551s
56Cam WatersTickfordFord+0.3046s
699Brodie KosteckiErebusHolden+0.3212s
7888Shane van GisbergenTriple EightHolden+0.3289s
817Will DavisonDJRFord+0.4089s
98Nick PercatBJRHolden+0.5432s
105Jack Le BrocqTickfordFord+0.5944s
1188Jamie WhincupTriple EightHolden+0.6169s
122Bryce FullwoodWAUHolden+0.6566s
1320Scott PyeTeam 18Holden+0.8482s
1418Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Holden+0.8938s
1539Broc FeeneyTriple EightHolden+0.9284s
1644James CourtneyTickfordFord+1.0035s
177Andre HeimgartnerKGRFord+1.0405s
1814Todd HazelwoodBJRHolden+1.0709s
1926David ReynoldsKGRFord+1.1829s
2019Fabian CoulthardTeam SydneyHolden+1.2469s
2134Jake KosteckiMSRHolden+1.4361s
2296Macauley JonesBJRHolden+1.6218s
2335Zane GoddardMSRHolden+1.7660s
244Jack SmithBJRHolden+1.9682s
2522Garry JacobsonTeam SydneyHolden+2.0316s

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