V8 Supercars championship leader Jamie Whincup has narrowly claimed pole position for today’s return race at Sydney Motorsport Park, edging out surprise contender Jonathon Webb for top spot on the grid.
In a dramatic qualifying session at the Eastern Creek circuit, Webb looked set to win his maiden V8 Supercars pole position, only to be denied by Whincup, who pipped his time by less than two-hundredths of a second.
It was a miraculous recovery for Whincup, whose prospects of extending his championship lead – which had been trimmed following back-to-back wins by Triple 8 Racing team-mate Craig Lowndes last time out at the Ipswich 300 – looked to take a further dent when he made a mistake on his first qualifying run.
After switching to the softer Dunlop tyres for another run, he delivered a composed 1:29.6353 lap time to claim the prime starting position, relegating Webb to second place.
Former championship leader Will Davison is the best-placed Ford driver in third place, sharing the second row of the grid with Michael Caruso, who easily put in his best qualifying performance of the season to be fourth-quickest in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden at his home race.
Mark Winterbottom was fifth-quickest in the sister FPR entry, while Lowndes was sixth-quickest. The top-ten was completed by David Reynolds, Shane van Gisbergen, Tony D’Alberto and the improving Russell Ingall.
2012 V8 Supercars Championship – Sydney Motorsport 360 Race 1 Qualifying Results/l
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:29.6353|
|2.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||+ 0.0189|
|3.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.0541|
|4.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.1017|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.1115|
|6.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||+ 0.1288|
|7.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||+ 0.1476|
|8.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.3043|
|9.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 0.3157|
|10.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||+ 0.3173|
|11.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 0.3454|
|12.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||+ 0.4336|
|13.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 0.4949|
|14.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.5318|
|15.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 0.5552|
|16.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.5668|
|17.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.5747|
|18.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.6045|
|19.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.6147|
|20.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.6731|
|21.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 0.6836|
|22.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.7073|
|23.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 0.7631|
|24.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.7729|
|25.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.7854|
|26.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.9962|
|27.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||+ 2.1288|
|28.||Jacques Villeneuve||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||+ 2.4795|
Our regular V8 Supercars contributor, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, is currently on holidays in America.