Marvellous McLaughlin sets the pace in Melbourne

Supercars Championship leader Scott McLaughlin will start from pole position in both Race 1 and 2 of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

Reigning champion McLaughlin – who won both races in Adelaide at the 2019 season opener – continued his hot streak of form by topping the timesheets in both qualifying sessions on Thursday.

McLaughlin was at his best in the first of two 10-minute qualifying sessions, setting a fastest lap time of 1:53.828, a time dubbed “extraordinary” by Supercars legend Mark Skaife on Fox Sports.

McLaughlin will be joined on the front row of the grid for Friday’s Race 1 by Shell V-Power Racing Team teammate Fabian Coulthard.

Monster Energy Racing Team’s Cameron Waters and Milwaukee Racing’s Will Davison will fill the second row. 

McLaughlin will start first in Saturday’s Race 2 as well, but the 25-year-old was not as quick at the second time of asking, setting a best time of 1:54.264 in his Ford Mustang.

Supercheap Auto Racing’s Chaz Mostert qualified second quickest for Race 2, dramatically improving on a 22nd-placed finish in the earlier qualifying session in which he struggled with brake balance.

Mostert’s day ran hot and cold, given he was also quickest in the opening practice session on Thursday. McLaughlin, unsurprisingly, was fastest in the second.

Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Jamie Whincup and Waters will start Saturday’s Race 2 in third and fourth respectively.

“It’s a good start,” McLaughlin told Fox Sports.

“That first one (qualifying session) was amazing … stoked for everyone at Shell V-Power Racing … it’s nice.”

Race 1 of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 begins at 5:55pm on Friday, following qualifying sessions for race three and four.

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