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SVG on pole as Supercars stars dominate GT qualifying

Triple Eight starts from pole position Image: Daniel Kalisz

A late stunner by Shane van Gisbergen allowed Triple Eight to take pole position in the GT World Challenge Australia on Mount Panorama.

Last year’s Bathurst 1000 winner left his efforts late to oust Chaz Mostert by 0.2274 seconds when the checkered flag fluttered and Garth Tander in third by another 0.4274 seconds.

Stephen Grove started the procedure with the fastest time when qualifying recorded a Sedate 2: 17.9897 in the middle of the first part of the two-part qualifying.

Prince Jefri Ibrahim briefly moved up to the top of the rankings but was quickly usurped by Brett Hobson, Yasser Shahin, Grove and Nick Kelly.

Hobson’s best result so far, 2: 09.9812, was just a second faster than Shahin and more than four seconds ahead of his closest rival in the Trophy class.

The Nissan driver then went on to write a 2: 09.3663 next time to extend his advantage to 1.5818 seconds.

Shahin soon got into the 2:08 bracket, sending the # 777 Audi to the top of the timesheets before improving to 2: 07.5065.

Shahin was not satisfied with this and made another late effort.

With two minutes to go, he set the best time of the session on the first split when he crossed the top of the mountain.

At the end of the lap, he lowered the benchmark to 2: 07.2255, 0.472 seconds ahead of Hobson’s Nissan and Brad Schumacher, who were in third place, 1.373 seconds behind.

So ended the first phase of the session with Shahin (GT3 Pro-Am) from Hobson (Trophy), Tony Bates (GT3 Pro-Am), Schumacher (Trophy) and Tony Quinn (GT3 Am).

Shane van Gisbergen, who came out of the goals fastest at the beginning of the second phase, used a 2: 06.8265 to open the 20-minute session.

The next time it was a 2: 05.3694 when Brenton Grove climbed into second place ahead of Mostert.

One lap later the pace had slowed down again, this time to 2: 04.3662, van Gisbergen more than a second ahead of the pack led by Grove.

Tander had built up on his first lap to record a 2: 05.6273 on his second tour. Mostert fell back to fifth place when Paul Stokell improved the Trophy specification in the Audi and ended up in fourth place.

Mostert drove through the fastest next time and improved van Gisbergen’s best performance in all three sectors with a 2: 03.6767.

The Triple Eight driver had hit the lane and turned up shortly after for a second run.

Tander was the man he won the Bathurst 1000 with last year and climbed to second place with a 2: 04.1969, six minutes from time.

The Australian GT race winner continued his career and made it to the first split fastest of all.

Meanwhile, Mostert did the same behind him on the right track.

In Tander’s lap, he improved his time, but not his position, while Mostert put a 2: 03.0904 at the top of the timesheets, 0.4274 seconds away from his Audi stable-mate.

Van Gisbergen’s last run started with a three-minute lead, although the Mercedes driver didn’t set the world on fire in the first split – 0.4 seconds behind Mostert’s best of the session.

It was a warm-up lap when van Gisbergen started his final lap by less than a minute.

Tander was also on the right track, despite pitting back while Mostert took to the streets satisfied with his session.

Van Gisbergen drove the fastest to the first split and set up a personal best middle sector.

With the checkered flag, the Triple Eight driver flashed across the line to record a 2: 02.8630 and secure the pole position.

Mostert remained second from Tander, while David Wall from Grove finished fourth in fourth place.

A 60-minute race is now waiting for the teams, the first of the two weekend encounters, which will take place this afternoon at 2:15 p.m.


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