PERTH, Western Australia — Report by Race Chaser Online International Motorsport Correspondent Jack Cobourn — V8SC photo —
Cameron Waters braved both rainy conditions and two red flags on his way to winning the pole for Saturday’s International V8 Supercars Championship race at Barbagallo Raceway’s Perth SuperSprint.
The Prodrive Racing Australia rookie set his winning time of 59.6256 seconds within the first two minutes of the session, and it held up all the way through the 15-minute round due to the rapidly-changing conditions.
“It was awesome, absolutely stoked to be on pole,” Waters said. “I know it was funny circumstances (that we had to deal with) but you take these while you can, and hopefully we can convert this into a big result come race time.”
Light rain and clouds rolled in just before qualifying, forcing drivers to head out quickly. With Barbagallo already being a track with poor grip due to a worn out surface, rain would only complicate the chase for pole. A heavy rain had come just 15 seconds before practice started, so that fact was on teams’ and drivers’ minds heading into qualifying.
As the session began, Michael Caruso beached his Nissan at turn one’s deep sand on his first flying lap, then Chaz Mostert also found the edge of the track at the same corners. A red flag flew due to the stranded car of Caruso, and Waters looked to have the sure pole. Mostert was second with a 59.8877, and Lowndes held third with a 59.9643.
“It was like an out lap going out on green tires after a pit stop,” Waters said. “The tires weren’t up, so you just had to maximize it and hope it kept raining, which, thankfully it did.”
The weather looked to be improving, and as such, the cars were sent back out with 12:12 remaining and blue skies just peeking through. Waters had taken his gear off, as had teammates Mark Winterbottom and Mostert.
David Reynolds dropped it in the deep sand at turn one, meaning the red flag came out again with 7:23 remaining. The rain again came, but by the time the cars got back out, blue skies had once again come through.
At the five minute to go mark, Waters had the pole all but sealed as drivers continued to struggle for grip. Phillip Island winner Scott McLaughlin could only manage 15th, 4.693 seconds down on pole.
Ultimately, the podium set on the initial laps was what stood in the end as Mostert’s time of 59.8877 seconds placed him alongside his PRA teammate heading to the green flag for Saturday’s main event.
Lowndes rolls off from the inside of row two on his best clip of 59.9643 seconds, with his Triple Eight Race Engineering teammate Shane van Gisbergen (1:00.0020) flanking him in fourth. Reigning series champion Winterbottom (1:00.0959) rounded out the Fast Five in qualifying.
Six-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Chris Pither, Will Davison and Garth Tander fill out the front five rows of the grid, with Pither’s effort a career-best qualifying effort in his rookie full-time season.
The green flag for Saturday’s feature portion of the Perth SuperSprint, a 120 kilometer main event, rolls off at 2:45 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: International V8 Supercars Championship; ARMOR ALL Pole Qualifying; Barbagallo Raceway; May 7, 2016
- Cameron Waters
- Chaz Mostert
- Craig Lowndes
- Shane van Gisbergen
- Mark Winterbottom
- Jamie Whincup
- James Courtney
- Chris Pither
- Will Davison
- Garth Tander
- Tim Slade
- Fabian Coulthard
- Todd Kelly
- Rick Kelly
- Scott McLaughlin
- Dale Wood
- Lee Holdsworth
- David Reynolds
- Jason Bright
- Nick Percat
- Scott Pye
- Aaren Russell
- Andre Heimgartner
- James Moffat
- Tim Blanchard
- Michael Caruso
About the Writer
Jack Cobourn is the international motorsports correspondent at Race Chaser Online, and covers the V8 Supercars Championship, Rally Cars and the FIA World Rally Championship.
Cobourn has been an avid follower of motorsports for years, having not missed a Formula One race in 16 seasons. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in history and a minor in journalism.
Email Jack at: Jack.Cobourn@yahoo.com
Follow Jack on Twitter: @JackCWriter92
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