Triple Eight gun Shane van Gisbergen has claimed pole position at the Newcastle 500 after sneaking into the Supercars top 10 shootout.
Van Gisbergen qualified 10th by just 0.0448 seconds but then stormed to the 29th pole of his career after winning the shootout on Saturday.
The result breathes life into Triple Eight’s tilt at winning the teams’ championship at the season-ending event, with his teammate Jamie Whincup to start third on the grid.
Van Gisbergen and Whincup trail DJR Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard by just 116 points leading into the opening race on the beachfront track.
There are 576 points up for grabs in Newcastle and the Holden duo look primed to steal teams’ title, with McLaughlin having already clinched the drivers’ championship.
McLaughlin will start second after bouncing back from qualifying eighth, while Coulthard will start sixth.
If the quartet finish the race in those positions then Whincup and van Gisbergen will trail by just 77 points heading into the final race of the season on Sunday.
“I just can’t believe we went from 10th to the front, it’s critical here,” van Gisbergen said.
Ford star McLaughlin is determined to complete the championship double and said he was looking forward to taking down Holden.
“To get second from eighth, that’s a win,” he said.
“They’re fast. Shane is always quick around here and we always have really good ding dong battles on street circuits.
“Good on those boys and we’ll go after them in the race.”
Cam Waters dropped one place from qualifying to round out the top three.
“Not a bad lap, we dumped one position but I did the same time I did in qualifying which was good. Overall pretty happy,” Waters said.
“You’ve got to be bumping off the walls around here to go fast. It’s cool when the mirrors are scraping.”