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Mount Panorama
Tuesday, May 28, 2024


DICK Johnson Racing’s #17 Ford has added to its Sandown history with a sublime showing at the hands of Will Davison in Qualifying for Race 24.

Forty years ago, Dick Johnson himself took a pair of pole positions and race wins at Sandown to put him on the path towards a second ATCC title.

Thirty years ago, Johnson again was at it again – the most recent time the famous #17 had pole at the Melbourne circuit.

And until today, Davison’s direct predecessor in the Shell #17, Scott McLaughlin, had held the track lap record.

McLaughlin set a 1:07.5425s during the 2019 Sandown 500 – a benchmark that was eclipsed today by Davison’s 1:07.4813s in Q2 to put him in the box seat for the Top 10 Shootout.

The 39-year-old made it count, notching his seventh pole of the season to grab a share of the 2022 qualifying king mantle with Cameron Waters.

It also puts Davison on the brink of matching his 2012 tally of eight poles, as he continues to show excellent speed.

There was some controversy, with it emerging that he had committed a breach of the pit exit rules during the Shootout, but that will not cost Davison top spot (instead a $500 fine).

Shane van Gisbergen was second ahead of Will Brown and Anton De Pasquale, as V8 Sleuth explores storylines from the three-part session:


Thomas Randle was the best of the Tickford quartet. Pic: Nathan Wong

Tickford Racing last month moved to 99 Repco Supercars Championship poles courtesy of Waters’ Sunday double at The Bend, and for a fleeting moment it looked as if they might crack the ton today.

Having seen Practice 3 pacesetter Waters miss the cut and James Courtney get airborne through Turn 1 of his Shootout lap, Thomas Randle gave Tickford fans hope when he set a purple first sector on his one-lap dash.

The Castrol Mustang dropped time through the rest of the lap but fifth still represents another excellent qualifying run for the rookie.


While van Gisbergen’s lap was good enough for the front row, Triple Eight Race Engineering teammate Broc Feeney was livid after blotting his copybook during the Shootout.

The 19-year-old had been on a flyer when he copped a kerb strike, automatically relegating him to 10th.

Feeney was uncharacteristically animated upon being told the news – perhaps a sign of his hunger to take the next step in what has been a fine first season.

Race 24 this afternoon is Feeney’s last chance to break McLaughlin’s record as the youngest winner of a Supercars Championship race.

Broc Feeney. Pic: Nathan Wong


Waters and Chaz Mostert have been far better at avoiding tangling since their time as Tickford Racing teammates ended in late 2019.

Their one key clash since then however did come at Sandown whilst battling for second in the classic which van Gisbergen won from 17th.

Today was an unusual occasion where not only one but both Waters and Mostert missed the cut for the Shootout.

The last time that happened? The 2018 Newcastle 500.

Oh, and naturally, Waters and Mostert will still line up in close quarters, starting 12th and 13th respectively.


For the first time since Supercars’ one-off trip to Austin, David Reynolds will start successive races outside the top 22.

Reynolds had a sloppy third session at Tailem Bend, finding himself 27th and last on the grid for Race 23.

The #26 Penrite Ford driver was subject to a double whammy today, impeded by Jack Smith during Q1 and then having an untimely red flag due to James Golding getting bogged on the exit of Turn 1.

At the time of the red flag, Reynolds was 25th, but regained one place due to Golding losing his fastest lap time, and another when Smith (initially 21st) was handed a three-place grid penalty.

For what it’s worth, Reynolds had not qualified worse than 23rd on back-to-back occasions since the 2009 Queensland 300.

There wasn’t much to cheer about on the other side of the Grove Racing garage either, with Lee Holdsworth just 18th.

Full grid for Race 24 (4:45pm AEST start)

  1. Will Davison
  2. Shane van Gisbergen
  3. Will Brown
  4. Anton De Pasquale
  5. Thomas Randle
  6. Mark Winterbottom
  7. James Courtney
  8. Jack Le Brocq
  9. Andre Heimgartner
  10. Broc Feeney
  11. Scott Pye
  12. Cameron Waters
  13. Chaz Mostert
  14. Brodie Kostecki
  15. Todd Hazelwood
  16. Jake Kostecki
  17. Bryce Fullwood
  18. Lee Holdsworth
  19. Tim Slade
  20. Macauley Jones
  21. Nick Percat
  22. Chris Pither
  23. David Reynolds
  24. Jack Smith
  25. James Golding
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