Scott McLaughlin has taken his second ARMOR ALL Pole Position of the weekend at home track Pukekohe Park Raceway in a closely fought qualifying session won by 0.001 of a second.
The Volvo driver backed up his fastest lap on hard tyres yesterday with a 1min03.1629 in the closing stages of qualifying.
Jumping out of his car at the end of the session, the 22-year old ran to the wall, his local fans applauding and hoping to cheer him to another win at the circuit.
“I’m that pumped right now, it’s crazy,” McLaughlin said.
His S60 just managed to edge out Jamie Whincup, who will start alongside on the front row. He leads the points for the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, which will be awarded at the conclusion of today’s race to the weekend’s top point-scorer.
DJR Team Penske’s Scott Pye, who was on top early, punched out a late fast lap propelling him to third and equalling his career best start.
After missing the podium yesterday he is hoping to rack up a result for the team, with big boss Roger Penske watching on.
“I should’ve just pushed the throttle pedal harder through the last corner,” he joked, just 0.0559sec off pole.
“It’s great to be disappointed with third – now we’re really coming,” Pye said.
“We’ve been there consistently now, we just need to convert today … I’m pretty pumped with the weekend just looking forward to the next one.”
Michael Caruso’s Nissan held the top spot for a time and will start from fifth, with yesterday’s second race winner David Reynolds ahead of him.
Championship leader Mark Winterbottom is ninth, with Craig Lowndes and his repaired Red Bull Commodore alongside and just cracking the top 10 after the team’s huge effort to repair his car overnight.
The ITM 500 Auckland’s 200km race kicks off at 2pm ADST and is worth 150 points.