Mark Winterbottom landed pole position in a frenetic qualifying session for the final leg of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 later today.
The Ford Performance Racing pilot set a 1:13.61 lap time with only 20 seconds remaining in the session, an ominous sign for the rest of the field given his factory team’s dominant display in yesterday’s race.
A red flag was deployed with less than three minutes remaining in the session as a result of a dislodged spring on the exit of Turn 6 from Russell Ingall’s damaged Supercheap Auto Commodore. An all-out sprint for pole position ensued in the dying moments, which left the timesheets unrecognisable as compared to the minutes prior.
Winterbottom narrowly edged out 20-year-old Scott McLaughlin for Garry Rogers Motorsport, who fell fifteen-hundredths of a second short of pole position and will line up on the outside of the front row of the grid. Rounding out the top three was David Reynolds in the Bottle-O Racing Falcon, continuing his notable run of form exhibited throughout the previous round in Darwin.
Garth Tander set the fourth fastest time for the Holden Racing Team, an impressive recovery given his struggles in yesterday’s qualifying session where he only managed 15th. Completing the top five in qualifying for Race 21 was Craig Lowndes in his Red Bull Racing Australia VF Commodore, and appears to be far more comfortable on the soft compound tyre as compared to the harder compound.
FPR’s Alex Davison will start from sixth on the grid ahead of Tony D’Alberto in the Team HIFLEX Commodore, who will no doubt be targeting a season’s best finish.
James Courtney starts from eighth in the second HRT Commodore, while yesterday’s winner Will Davison made it four FPR cars in the top ten, having qualified in ninth. Alexandre Premat rounded out the fifth row in the second Garry Rogers Motorsport prepared VF Commodore, a further four-and-a-half tenths off Winterbottom’s pole time.
The story of the session was again the failure of Jamie Whincup to place his Red Bull Racing entry up at the sharp end of the grid, with the championship leader only managing fifteenth fastest in the session having struggled to sixteenth-fastest yesterday. The 30 year-old also came under investigation for an unsafe release in pit-lane as the field backed up for the final minutes; however the stewards deemed that the reigning champion had no case to answer.
Jason Bright will also be disappointed with his qualifying performance, and will start the 200-kilometre event from 17th position. Yesterday’s pole-sitter Shane van Gisbergen struggled to 21st on the grid, while his Tekno stable-mate Jonathon Webb didn’t fare much better, recording the 18th fastest time.
The second and final leg of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 gets underway at 3.35pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
2013 V8 Supercars Sucrogen Townsville 400 – Race 2 Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||T10 Result|
|1.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||1:13.6159|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.1533|
|3.||David Reynolds||Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.2923|
|4.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 0.3257|
|5.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 0.3416|
|6.||Alex Davison||Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.3444|
|7.||Tony D’Alberto||Team HIFLEX / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 0.4172|
|8.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 0.4396|
|9.||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.4571|
|10.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.4626|
|11.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.5116|
|12.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.7216|
|13.||Tim Slade||Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 0.7371|
|14.||Chaz Mostert||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.7536|
|15.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 0.7797|
|16.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.8237|
|17.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.8385|
|18.||Jonathon Webb||Darrell Lea Racing / Tekno Autosports||+ 0.8502|
|19.||Maro Engel||SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 0.9104|
|20.||Lee Holdsworth||IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 0.9132|
|21.||Shane van Gisbergen||VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports||+ 0.9296|
|22.||James Moffat||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.9685|
|23.||Michael Caruso||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.9798|
|24.||Russell Ingall||SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR||+ 1.1466|
|25.||Dean Fiore||Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.1573|
|26.||Scott Pye||EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.2138|
|27.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.5482|
|28.||Tim Blanchard||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1.6894|
* Denotes relative gap to fastest Q1 qualifier, Shane van Gisbergen (1:13.5569)