Van Gisbergen scores first pole of 2016

Holden’s Shane van Gisbergen has scored pole position – his first of the year – for the opening race of this weekend’s Supercars round in Darwin.

The Red Bull Racing driver smashed the lap record at Hidden Valley Raceway in Saturday’s qualifying session with a blistering time of 1min 6.0923secs on his first run.

It eclipsed David Reynolds’ mark set in a Ford last year by 0.16secs.

It’s van Gisbergen’s first pole of 2016 and in Red Bull colours, and only the third time this season a Commodore has qualified fastest.

“We just put it out there straight away, it was a pretty good lap,” the Kiwi said.

“Hopefully we can lead from the front in the race.”

He will start Saturday’s 42-lap sprint on the front row alongside Nissan’s Michael Caruso, with Will Davison of Tekno Autosport and Prodrive Racing Australia’s Chaz Mostert on the second row.

Ford’s series leader Mark Winterbottom qualified fifth fastest, ahead of Holden rivals Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.

Holden Racing Team’s poor run continued, with James Courtney back in 17th and Garth Tander in 25th.

The pair have new engineers this weekend, a decision HRT bosses hoped would instil some confidence in the drivers who haven’t been on the podium since the season-opening Clipsal 500.

The race begins at 4.15pm local time (4.45pm AEST).

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