Craig Lowndes followed up yesterday’s excellent win with pole position for today’s 56-lap closing race that marks V8 Supercars’ return to Sydney Motorsport Park.
Lowndes, who will be aiming to make it four wins in succession in his now-customary late-season push for the championship title, will share the front row with TeamVodafone team-mate Jamie Whincup, who lost the championship lead after a disastrous race yesterday in which he finished 23rd when he was hit by a late puncture.
As was the case yesterday, the twenty-minute session opened with the field’s 28 drivers posting their ‘banker’ laps on the harder Dunlop tyres, before switching to the softer rubber in the closing minutes.
Will Davison held provisional pole in his Ford Performance Racing entry, but his joy was short-lived when Lowndes and Whincup bundled him down the order. He was relegated to fifth, courtesy of better laps from team-mate and new points leader Mark Winterbottom, who starts fourth.
Claiming a surprise third place on the grid was none other than Jason Bright, who secured his best qualifying result since the Trading Post Perth Challenge at Barbagallo Raceway.
Sydney-born driver Michael Caruso qualified a fine sixth-fastest in his Fujitsu-GRM Holden, while Garth Tander, Russell Ingall, David Reynolds and Fabian Coulthard rounded out the top ten.
Today’s 56-lap, 220-kilometre race kicks off at 3:30pm local time (GMT +10).
2012 V8 Supercars Championship – Sydney Motorsport 360 Race 1 Qualifying Results/l
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:29.2493|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||+ 0.1328|
|3.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.1568|
|4.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.3341|
|5.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.3547|
|6.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.4494|
|7.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 0.5355|
|8.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||+ 0.5502|
|9.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||+ 0.5885|
|10.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.5926|
|11.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.6019|
|12.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||+ 0.7302|
|13.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 0.7327|
|14.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 0.7759|
|15.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.7833|
|16.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.8638|
|17.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.8657|
|18.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.8731|
|19.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||+ 0.8765|
|20.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.9744|
|21.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1.0338|
|22.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 1.0843|
|23.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.1531|
|24.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 1.3347|
|25.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 1.3445|
|26.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1.3947|
|27.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||+ 1.5023|
|28.||Jacques Villeneuve||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||+ 2.3587|
Our regular V8 Supercars contributor, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, is currently on holidays in America.