Shane van Gisbergen has stunned the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series regulars and will start from pole position for the final round of the series at Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand.
The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner nabbed the top spot after an interrupted first practice session where his team was forced to change engines after an intermittent gearbox issue in the opening session.
In Practice 2, he stopped the clocks in third place and shot himself to the top spot in qualifying after grabbing a big slipstream from one of his rivals in his fast lap.
The Kiwi star will sit on pole position for the first of four Aussie Racing Car races, starting tomorrow morning.
Josh Anderson claimed the second fastest time in his CoolDrive Auto Parts-backed Perenso Racing entry, ahead of Shell Rimula Topgun Race Team's Cody Brewczynski and title leader Joel Heinrich in the Osborn's Transport example.
In the Masters Cup, Heinrich's teammate Brett Osborn grabbed the fast time ahead of class leader Kent Quinn for Norganic Proteins.
Gold Cup honours went to Action Line Marking's Scott Dornan while the Rookie Cup pole was secured by Riskie Racing's Scott Andiske.
Three races will be held tomorrow with the final race of the 2023 season starting on Sunday morning.
You can watch the action in Australia on Fox Sports and Kayo, New Zealand viewers can see it on Sky Sport while international guests can watch for free via Motorsport.tv.
Shane van Gisbergen
#97 Norganic Proteins, Aussie Racing Car
“It’s been cool to be here in the Aussie Racing Cars," said van Gisbergen.
“We had a drama with the gearbox. It had ghost gears, so we changed a motor and I missed Practice 1.
“Practice 2 was awesome. I had some battles and learned how to race these cars.
“In qualifying, I was going good, and I snuck up behind a blue car, I’m not sure who it was, but I got a massive tow off him and got pole, so very, very cool.
“The racing is going to be a blast. There’s five or six fast guys, and then through all of the classes, everyone is really close.
“The Highlands circuit is perfect for these cars. The track is very technical, fast and flowing, and I’m sure they’ll be a lot of passing in the races. It will be epic.”