Greg Murphy and his co-driver Allan Simonsen have claimed a shock pole position for tomorrow’s Bathurst 1000 classic at Mount Panorama, with the Kelly Racing Holden driver lucking into the best weather conditions in today’s top-ten shootout.
The New Zealander, who still holds the qualifying lap record at the daunting six-kilometre circuit, benefited from a sudden downpour that hit the circuit, which scuppered the qualifying hopes of series leader Jamie Whincup, Ford driver Mark Winterbottom, and Friday’s provisional pole-sitter Garth Tander.
With yesterday’s ten-fastest qualifiers attempting to claim pole with just a single hot-lap this afternoon, Murphy’s lap-time of 2:08.8009 was just eight-hundredths of a second faster than Will Davison in the FPR Ford, who himself had been promoted into the shootout after Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Lee Holdsworth was demoted five grid spots after his team failed to present his Holden for a post-qualifying weigh-in yesterday.
Craig Lowndes will, along with co-driver Mark Skaife, attempt to defend last year’s Bathurst 1000 win after qualifying third-fastest, one spot ahead of defending series champion James Courtney, who shares his HRT Holden with Cameron McConville.
V8 Supercars 2011 SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Top-10 Shootout:
|Driver / Co-Driver||Entry / Team||Time|
|1.||G. Murphy / A. Simonsen||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||2:08.8009|
|2.||W. Davison / L. Youlden||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.0812|
|3.||C. Lowndes / M. Skaife||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||+ 0.4188|
|4.||J. Courtney / C. McConville||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 0.4350|
|5.||S. van Gisbergen / J. McIntyre||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.5811|
|6.||S. Owen / P. Morris||VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 0.7168|
|7.||D. Reynolds / T. Blanchard||Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing||+ 1.3561|
|8.||J. Whincup / A. Thompson||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||+ 17.8003|
|9.||G. Tander / N. Percat||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 22.5925|
|10.||M. Winterbottom / S. Richards||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 43.2673|
To view the complete grid, click here.
[Images and video via V8 Supercars Australia]