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De Pasquale, van Gisbergen take Albert Park poles

ANTON De Pasquale and Shane van Gisbergen took a pole position apiece in the back-to-back Thursday qualifying sessions at Albert Park.

The two 15-minute hitouts set the grid for the opening two races respectively, with the Race 1 session run on Hard tyres and the second on Super Softs.

Both provided bounceback stories.

De Pasquale restored pride for Dick Johnson Racing after a shocking Newcastle while van Gisbergen’s pole came after missing Practice 2 due to a crash in the opening session.

Qualifying Race 1 (Hard tyres)

The first qualifying session was sweet and sour for Dick Johnson Racing.

The Shell V-Power Mustangs were first and second after the first green tyre runs, Will Davison on top with 1:50.0632s.

A flurry of fast times on the second runs ended with De Pasquale at the top on 1:49.3167s, while non-improver Davison plummeted to 15th.

“The whole team has been working pretty hard, the lights at the workshop haven’t been turned off very often since the last one,” De Pasquale said.

“It’s good to be at the front and reward them with a pole.”

De Pasquale will share the Race 1 front-row with Brodie Kostecki, who was just 0.0401s adrift, while van Gisbergen grabbed third after vaulting 13 spots with his last lap.

Chaz Mostert was just 0.0798s from the pace in fourth ahead of Cam Waters, Will Brown, Jack Le Brocq, Broc Feeney, rookie Matt Payne and Nick Percat.

Mark Winterbottom was fourth after the first runs but sat out the final minutes having tagged the Turn 5 wall and broken his car’s rear suspension. He sunk to 17th.

Qualifying Race 2 (Super Soft tyres)

Shane van Gisbergen. Pic: Ross Gibb

Van Gisbergen’s pole-winning time of 1:47.2537s was set after the chequered flag in a thrilling second session, denying Will Brown the top spot.

Brown had set the pace over van Gisbergen after the first runs and held the spot until Broc Feeney shot to the top with a minute on the clock.

Hopes of Feeney’s first career pole were dashed by an improvement from Brown with just seconds remaining, before van Gisbergen’s last-ditch heroics.

Van Gisbergen relied on setup information from Feeney on the Super Soft tyre as, by missing Practice 2, the Kiwi had not run on the quicker rubber until qualifying.

“I can’t thank the guys enough,” said van Gisbergen. “I made an error myself this morning and then they fixed it up, missed a practice.

“We have to thank the 88 car too, they did some good work in P2, we just went for their setup basically.

“It’s pretty amazing, the car’s really good. It means a lot to come back like that. We’ve still got the races to go, that’s where we get the points, but it’s a cool feeling.”

Kostecki continued Erebus’ strong day with fourth ahead of Winterbottom in a repaired Team 18 Camaro and David Reynolds, who improved after a tough first session.

Waters, Davison, James Courtney and Mostert will complete the top 10 grid positions for Race 2, set to take place on Friday afternoon.

Practice 2 pacesetter Andre Heimgartner was down the order in both sessions, 19th in the first after an early trip through the Turn 3 gravel trap, and 16th in the second.

Race 1 is set to get underway at 5:45pm local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying for Race 1, Albert Park

111Anton De PasqualeDJRFord1m49.3167s
299Brodie KosteckiErebusChevrolet+0.0401s
397Shane van GisbergenTriple EightChevrolet+0.0716s
425Chaz MostertWAUFord+0.0798s
56Cam WatersTickfordFord+0.2080s
69Will BrownErebusChevrolet+0.3305s
734Jack Le BrocqMSRChevrolet+0.3325s
888Broc FeeneyTriple EightChevrolet+0.3433s
919Matthew PayneGroveFord+0.4423s
102Nick PercatWAUFord+0.5388s
1155Thomas RandleTickfordFord+0.6666s
125James CourtneyTickfordFord+0.7136s
1320Scott PyeTeam 18Chevrolet+0.7406s
1496Macauley JonesBJRChevrolet+0.7459s
1517Will DavisonDJRFord+0.7465s
1631James GoldingPremiAirChevrolet+0.8044s
1718Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Chevrolet+0.8743s
1826David ReynoldsGroveFord+0.9800s
198Andre HeimgartnerBJRChevrolet+1.2729s
203Todd HazelwoodBRTFord+1.2795s
214Jack SmithBJRChevrolet+1.4229s
2235Cameron HillMSRChevrolet+1.4288s
2356Declan FraserTickfordFord+1.7536s
2414Bryce FullwoodBJRChevrolet+1.9437s
2523Tim SladePremiAirChevroletNTR

RESULTS: Qualifying for Race 2, Albert Park

197Shane van GisbergenTriple EightChevrolet1m47.2537s
29Will BrownErebusChevrolet+0.0196s
388Broc FeeneyTriple EightChevrolet+0.0789s
499Brodie KosteckiErebusChevrolet+0.1140s
518Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Chevrolet+0.1368s
626David ReynoldsGroveFord+0.2057s
76Cam WatersTickfordFord+0.2580s
817Will DavisonDJRFord+0.2685s
95James CourtneyTickfordFord+0.3914s
1025Chaz MostertWAUFord+0.4198s
1111Anton De PasqualeDJRFord+0.4222s
1255Thomas RandleTickfordFord+0.5118s
1334Jack Le BrocqMSRChevrolet+0.6284s
1420Scott PyeTeam 18Chevrolet+0.6325s
1519Matthew PayneGroveFord+0.6633s
168Andre HeimgartnerBJRChevrolet+0.7170s
172Nick PercatWAUFord+0.7170s
1856Declan FraserTickfordFord+0.858s
1931James GoldingPremiAirChevrolet+0.9181s
2014Bryce FullwoodBJRChevrolet+0.9612s
2196Macauley JonesBJRChevrolet+1.1099s
224Jack SmithBJRChevrolet+1.1262s
233Todd HazelwoodBRTFord+1.2157s
2435Cameron HillMSRChevrolet+1.3153s
2523Tim SladePremiAirChevroletNTR
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