‘Holy crap’: McLaughlin's ‘historic lap’ stuns Bathurst
SCOTT McLaughlin has smashed another Mt Panorama lap record to steal pole position in a dramatic Bathurst 1000 Top Ten Shootout.
McLaughlin was the last man on the track and had to overcome the quickest second sector ever seen on the Mountain by rival Chaz Mostert to steal pole.
McLaughlin will start on the front row alongside Mostert in Sunday's race with Scott Waters and Jamie Whincup filling out the second row.
McLaughlin had been the man to catch all weekend long at Bathurst, but he was knocked off his perch in the final practice session.
In the final session for the teams ahead of the Top Ten shootout, Mostert claim the quickest time with a 2:03.508 ahead of McLaughlin's 2:03.696 in second.
Those times were significantly quicker than the times that drivers were able to deliver on cold tyres early on during Saturday afternoon's shootout.
Anton de Pasquale was the first man on to the circuit and delivered a 2:04.38 lap, but he was soon knocked off provisional pole by Scott Waters, who produced a 2:03.92 lap.
Waters even retained pole position after Jamie Whincup's lap, which put the seven-time Supercars champion in second spot with six drivers still to come.
After Mostert stunned the Mountain crowd with a 2:03.79 lap, McLaughlin had to smash his own lap record to secure a pole position with a lap that legend Mark Skaife called a "historic lap".
McLaughlin's new lap record time now sits at 2:03.38.
"That is ridiculous," Skaife said.
"You have just achieved the two-minute 3.3, your garage has gone off."
McLaughlin was visibly emotional, full of relief, after the lap and had to cut his interview with Fox Sports early as he tried to catch his breath during his slow-down lap.
"Far out. This car is a rocket ship. I'm just pumped," McLaughlin said.
"Coming down the hill I was pretty fast there. I thought, 'Jeez this is good'.
"I threw it into the chase, and threw it into the last corner and held on. We start from pole, the best position."
His historic feat still hadn't sunk in when he went on Twitter more than half an hour after parking his Ford.
Wow. Simply wow. Out of this world lap there from McLaughlin. #Bathurst1000— Alex Fair (@AJFair85) October 12, 2019
The defending series champion's blistering time on Saturday took 0.11 of a second off his own record mark set on Friday at Mount Panorama. It marked the third time this week that McLaughlin had broken the lap record.
But an emotional McLaughlin seemed to have surprised himself with the scorching time that was 0.41 of a second faster than 2014 Bathurst champion Mostert.
It is a shot in the arm for McLaughlin, who is desperate to claim a maiden Bathurst title.
Four-time Bathurst winner Whincup finished fourth fastest, while van Gisbergen was fifth.
Seven-time series champion Whincup is still considered a favourite after teaming up with co-driver, seven-time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes.
They reunite again after winning three-straight Bathurst titles from 2006. McLaughlin might appear hard to beat but no pole sitter has claimed the Great Race since 2009.
Mostert finished second behind McLaughlin during Friday's qualifying, but reversed the roles as he crossed the line in the dying seconds of the session.
That practice was pretty cool, it’s the fastest I’ve been in a Supercar around here! See how we go in the next session, I’m excited about the way the car feels 🤩#Mozzie55 #VASC #Bathurst1000 pic.twitter.com/RLjqQqYgNp— Chaz Mostert (@chazmozzie) October 12, 2019
TOP TEN SHOOTOUT DRIVERS' TIMES
Scott McLaughlin - 2:03.38
Chaz Mostert - 2:03:79
Scott Waters - 2:03.92
Jamie Whincup - 2:03.95
Shane van Gisbergen - 2:04.11
Will Davison - 2:04.32
Anton de Pasquale - 2:04.38
Nick Percat - 2:04.67
Tim Slade - 2:04.84
Mark Winterbottom - 2:04.98