McLaughlin equals Ford legend with race 13 pole
SCOTT McLaughlin will chase his fifth consecutive Supercars win from pole position, after he and DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard swept the front row for race 13 at Winton.
The championship leader had a 0.128sec margin over his teammate and was more than two tenths quicker than the rest of the field.
And he still feels he could have gone faster.
"I stuffed the last corner up, but I'm always going to say that I think we can do better," he said.
The pole position is the sixth of the year for McLaughlin and the 39th of his career, drawing him level with Allan Moffat on the all-time list.
The Nissans carried their strong practice form into qualifying, Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly locking out the second row of the grid, the latter frustrated with his final flyer.
"You're always frustrated when you're not the quickest," he said.
"I don't think I did a good enough job out there. I think I could've got another tenth out."
Scott Pye and Tim Slade locked out the third row for Holden, with Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, rookie Anton De Pasquale and Nick Percat rounding out the top 10.
Reigning champion Jamie Whincup missed the top 10, qualifying the best of the Triple Eight cars in 11th, with Shane van Gisbergen 14th and Craig Lowndes down on the penultimate row in 24th.
"We just couldn't get the front (tyre) to switch on," Lowndes said, noting that even a major set-up change mid-session wasn't enough to change the car's balance.
"For us, we're only 7-8 tenths off pole but we're almost at the back of the grid."
Another to struggle with front tyre temperature was David Reynolds, qualifying down in 17th - the first time he's missed the top 10 all year, and the first time this season that he's been out-qualified by rookie teammate De Pasquale.
"That sucked," Reynolds said. "My story is that we're just not fast enough.
"If I finished my second lap on that first set of tyres I would've been in the top 10, but we're still off the pace.
"I just don't have tyre temp for lap one and I'm going faster on my next lap, and you don't want that to happen."
Richie Stanaway posted his best solo qualifying result of his rookie Supercars season so far with 12th, ahead of teammates Cam Waters (15th) and Chaz Mostert (16th).
The 13th race of the 2018 season gets under way on Saturday at 3.50pm AEST.