The DJR Team Penske ace was unstoppable across the back-to-back sessions, edging teammate Fabian Coulthard by 0.02s to grab pole for today's first race.
The second session was less straightforward, McLaughlin just third quickest on the first lap of his final run. However he pressed on for a second set on the tyre, finding a gain to snatch a third sensational pole for the weekend.
"That one was cool," said McLaughlin. "The last one, especially. I didn't get the best first lap, I had to give it everything on my second lap. It's the first time all weekend I've gone fastest on the second lap.
"I'm really happy, the car is great. I'm really proud of that one."
McLaughlin's title rival Whincup, who needs to keep the gap below 300 points today, enjoyed a solid, if not spectacular, showing across the two sessions.
In both sessions he was pipped by Tickford driver Cam Waters, the pair third and fourth in the first and second and third in the second.
Whincup's teammate Shane van Gisbergen, meanwhile, endured a shocker of a morning. Having gone within a few tenths of winning yesterday's race, he was just 15th in today's first session, before slumping to 22nd in the session.
"That's just where we are," he said. "We've de-tuned something. The car was so fast yesterday, I get out there [today] and feel like I'm on ice.
"It was a pretty good lap and we're 22nd. It's weird. I've got no words. We suck. We need to get better."
Coulthard backed up his second in the first session with fifth in the session, while James Courtney continued his promising run of form with a fifth and fourth from the two hit-outs.