Australian GP, Mustangs run riot after Scott McLaughlin tops practice session at Albert Park

Scott McLaughlin has put daylight between his Ford Mustang and the Supercars field at the Australian Grand Prix, grabbing two pole positions for the weekend’s meet.

The reigning champion and early series leader charted a new qualifying lap record of 1:53.8280 at Albert Park in the first qualifying session on Thursday.

The 25-year-old was slower but still first in a second rapid-fire session shortly after, giving him the best chance of extending his run of race wins beyond his pair at the season-opening Adelaide 500.

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Supercars: Jamie Whincup is determined to lead a Holden hit-back against the Mustangs at the Australian Grand Prix.

Whincup on mission to defend

Mustangs dominated the day’s racing, recording the first four positions for race one, and five of the top six positions in race two.

The dominance of the new Ford model is likely to lead to further blowups in pit lane about parity, given the almost complete absence of Commodores near the top of the timing chart.

McLaughlin called the poles “a good start”.

Supercars: Scott McLaughlin made it back-to-back victories for the new Ford Mustang Supercar, taking out the second leg of the Superloop Adelaide 500.

Great Scott goes bang bang

“Albert Park qualifying is always one of the hardest qualifying of the year because it’s only one lap,” he said.

“It’s definitely satisfying to get a couple of poles, that’s for sure.”

McLaughlin will be joined by teammate Fabian Coulthard on the front row of the grid for Friday’s first race, with Tickford’s Cam Waters and 23Red driver Will Davison on the second row.

Shane van Gisbergen was the only Holden in the top five for race one; his Red Bull HRT teammate Jamie Whincup is the only Commodore among the leaders in race two.

With just a short 10-minute qualifying window, the main drama revolved around Chaz Mostert and Coulthard.

Mostert fell foul of strict line markings in race one qualifying, nullifying his hot lap.

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Mustang’s ‘unfair advantage’

The 26-year-old quickly pitted and was the only man on the circuit attempting a second flying lap, only to turn wide at the first corner to chart 22nd.

“It’s super frustrating … we’re going to learn how to race tomorrow,” Mostert said.

Coulthard made the same mistake in the second session, scraping a fifth position with just seconds remaining.

Such was the pace of the Mustang, leading Commodore driver Nick Percat took a not-so-subtle dig of how to bridge the gap between the two makes.

“We’ll see if we can challenge the Mustangs. We might have to change the body shape to catch them,” he said.

“We probably could have been quickest Holden (in practice) but nothing on what the Penske car did.”

Supercars: The Mustang has made a dream return to Supercars with Ford gun Scott McLaughlin making a perfect start to this title defence by winning the season-opening race in Adelaide.

Mustang win Supercars opener

Originally published as McLaughlin snares two Supercars poles in qualifying at Australian GP

Source link Australia Sport News

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