Supercars drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin at Surfers Paradise ahead of the Gold Coast 600.
Supercars drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin at Surfers Paradise ahead of the Gold Coast 600.

Lowndes penalised, SVG makes costly error at Gold Coast 600

SCOTT McLaughlin has positioned himself perfectly to steal the championship lead after his chief rival Shane van Gisbergen made a meal of his one-lap dash in the top 10 shootout at the Gold Coast 600.

Van Gisbergen, who leads McLaughlin by 19 points overall, was fastest in the earlier qualifying session but had his shootout time wiped after cutting a kerb.

It means the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver will start the 102-lap race on Saturday afternoon in 10th place, while McLaughlin will be on pole position.

Van Gisbergen's teammate Jamie Whincup will also be on the front row of the grid.

1. Scott McLaughlin

2. Jamie Whincup

3. David Reynolds

4. Fabian Coulthard

5. Chaz Mostert

6. Michael Caruso

7. Nick Percat

8. Cameron Waters

9. James Courtney

10. Shane van Gisbergen

Meanwhile Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes' Gold Coast 600 aspirations took a blow when he collided with a rival car in qualifying.

Lowndes has been hit with a penalty that will drop him from 16th to 21st on the grid after being involved in an incident with Richie Stanaway in the final four minutes of qualifying on Saturday.

Lowndes, who is retiring from full-time racing at the end of this year, was warming up his tyres when Stanaway ran into the back of him. Lowndes was deemed to have impeded the young Kiwi.

The Triple Eight driver was sitting in 11th in qualifying at the time but fell down the pecking order after being forced to enter pit lane and exit his car due to the damage.

Stanaway, who finished 24th in qualifying, said he was left frustrated by the incident.

"It was just one of those things, it's unfortunate for both of us," Stanaway said.

"When I came out of turn three I didn't realise he was weaving.

Richie Stanaway was involved in a collision with Craig Lowndes during qualifying. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Richie Stanaway was involved in a collision with Craig Lowndes during qualifying. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

"I thought he weaved to the left to get out of the way. By the time I reacted and got to the brakes there was too much of a car-speed difference for me to stop in time.

"It's never ideal when try and rush a session and run too many tyre sets and get out of sync with everyone.

"Even my second run was compromised by traffic."

Craig Lowndes has been hit with a grid penalty. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Craig Lowndes has been hit with a grid penalty. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Stanaway conceded he would have struggled to improve his position even without the crash after battling for speed.

"I don't know what is going on, I've just had no pace for a while now," Stanaway said.

Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen finished on top and will be among those going into the top 10 shootout.

QUALIFYING RESULTS (top 10 proceeded to shootout)

1. Shane van Gisbergen

2. Jamie Whincup

3. Dave Reynolds

4. Scott McLaughln

5. James Courtney

6. Fabian Coulthard

7. Chaz Mostert

8. Michael Caruso

9. Nick Percat

10. Cameron Waters

11. Rick Kelly

12. Mark Winterbottom

13. Lee Holdsworth

14. Tim Slade

15. Will Davison

16. Craig Lowndes (five-place grid penalty)

17. Anton De Pasquale

18. Andre Heimgartner

19. Garth Tander

20. Scott Pye

21. James Golding

22. Jack Le Brocq

23. Simona De Silvestro

24. Richie Stanaway

25. Todd Hazelwood

26. Tim Blanchard



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