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Scott McLaughlin on top in Queensland - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Scott McLaughlin on top in Queensland – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Scott McLaughlin has taken his 10th pole of the season in a gripping Qualifying session at Queensland Raceway.

The Shell V-Power driver took his 10th pole of the season with a brilliant 1m08.8167s, a bare 0.0089s clear of the field.

But the margin could have been greater. McLaughlin was forced to abort a potentially faster lap later in the session when he was baulked by a weaving Holden driven by Alex Davison. The incident is under investigation by the stewards.

“It was just too sketchy to keep going,” McLaughlin said.

“What could have been? I don’t know. I was just so thankful to hold on.”

Second fastest, in a pleasing return to Qualifying form, was Craig Lowndes. After struggling to qualify in the front half of the field in recent races the veteran put the TeamVortex car on the front row, and put some of the credit in the hands of co-driver Steven Richards afterwards.

“Richo drove the car [on Friday] and it was pretty good in his mind,” said Lowndes. “It is good to be on the front row again.”

Chaz Mostert leapt to third late in the session, shading Tim Slade, who topped Saturday’s Practice session. Mark Winterbottom, Rick Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen and Michael Caruso filled out the top eight, on a day when a previously-impressive 1m09.0000s lap was good enough only for ninth.

Best of the Wildcard drivers was Todd Hazelwood in 20th place, with Jack Le Brocq 24th, James Golding 25th and Shae Davies 26th.

Saturday’s Race 15 will be run over 39 laps, starting at 1615.

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