With the early news from the pits that Will Brown’s car would make it to the grid, the opening day of racing of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship was finally set to go with a full grid, albeit with Nick Percat sitting out qualifying.
Anton De Pasquale took the first qualifying win of the weekend putting his car on provisional pole ahead of Shane van Gisbergen by 0.1224 seconds. Friday’s “king of the hill” Chaz Mostert had to settle for fourth, while Brodie Kostecki looked to be settling into the Erebus Boost Mobile Holden Commodore nicely putting it in 6th.
Mark Winterbottom edged out James Courtney for the final place in the top 10 shootout by 0.143 seconds.
With the Top 10 shootout on next, 2020 Bathurst 1000 runner up Cam Waters came out on top ahead of Cooldrive Racing’s Tim Slade. Shane van GIsbergen finished 3rd.
Unfortunately for Cam Waters the pole celebrations would be short lived with a power steering pump ending his chances for a good showing. Meanwhile Jake Kostecki in the UNIT Racing Holden Commodore ZB put in a massive effort gaining 10 places to finish 13th in the field while Brodie Kostecki dropped 3 places to finish 11th overall after a slow pit stop due to an issue with the wheel nut saw him drop back to P14.
Up at the pointy end, Shane van Gisbergen drove his Red Bull Ampol Racing Holden Commodore over the line 1st happily spraying team owner Roland Dane with champagne during the celebrations:
“Honestly, I was just happy to be spraying champagne all over RD (Roland Dane, Team Owner) on the podium today. We cornered him so he couldn’t run away – it was great. I had a really good start and managed to clear Tim (Slade) who had a shocker, then tried to get ahead of Cam (Waters) but just had too much aero wash. I tried to save tyres for the end of the stint and it was impossible to pass in those early stages, but fortunate for me, Cam (Waters) had some problems and had to pit. I saw the bonnet on his car pop up and then I knew he was out of the running. With the way the cars are these days, it’s so important to qualify well. My pace was really good, the car was even better, and I’m over the moon to get my first win for the season. It was so good to see all the fans on the hill again and to see an atmosphere back at the track, it was awesome.”
Chaz Mostert finished comfortably behind him in second whilst Will Davison took the bottom step of the podium in his Shell V-Power Racing Ford Mustang GT.