Fabian Coulthard will be the final runner to contest Saturday afternoon’s Top-10 Shootout to determine pole position for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 after topping a rain-affected provisional qualifying session at Mount Panorama.
Rescheduled and reduced to 30 minutes after Chaz Mostert’s crash in the first attempt at qualifying on Friday afternoon, the session began under heavy skies.
The entire field was out on track early to try and get a clear run at a timed lap before the expected rainfall, with the cloudburst eventually coming at the halfway mark.
The track conditions deteriorated and with no further opportunity to improve their lap times, a number of drivers were left to rue mistakes and traffic on their earlier runs.
Coulthard made the best of his early laps to post a 2:06.1838 – over a second slower than the time he managed in final practice earlier in the day – and finished up a quarter of a second clear of fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen.
Tim Slade and reigning champion Jamie Whincup ensured Holden would lock out the top-four positions on the timesheets, while Scott Pye was the fastest non-Holden runner in his DJR Team Penske Ford.
Jason Bright (Brad Jones Racing Holden), Scott McLaughlin (Polestar Volvo), David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing Ford), Lee Holdsworth (Walkinshaw Holden) and James Moffat (Nissan) completed the top-ten and will contest the Shootout session later in the day.
The session was disastrous for a number of more-fancied runners, including championship leader Mark Winterbottom, who will start from fourteenth place in his Prodrive Racing Ford.
He will line up one spot ahead of five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes, with both drivers on course to make the Top-10 when the heavens opened on their second flying runs.
Both Holden Racing Team runners were well down the order, with Jack Perkins qualifying 17th-fastest and Garth Tander 22nd.
The Top-10 Shootout for pole starts at 5:10pm local time (GMT +11).
|2015 V8 Supercars SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – Preliminary Qualifying Results|
|Pos||Driver / Co-Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||Brad Jones Racing||2:06.1838|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen / Jonathon Webb||TEKNO Autosports||+ 0.2632|
|3.||Tim Slade / Tony D’Alberto||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 0.3225|
|4.||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 0.3410|
|5.||Scott Pye / Marcos Ambrose||DJR Team Penske||+ 0.3818|
|6.||Jason Bright / Andrew Jones||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.4161|
|7.||Scott McLaughlin / Alexandre Premat||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 0.5339|
|8.||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 0.5975|
|9.||Lee Holdsworth / Sébastien Bourdais||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 0.6958|
|10.||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.7309|
|11.||Will Davison / Alex Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 0.7858|
|12.||Andre Heimgartner / Ant Pedersen||Super Black Racing||+ 0.8545|
|13.||Dale Wood / Macauley Jones||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.9846|
|14.||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Owen||Prodrive Racing Australia||+ 1.0234|
|15.||Craig Lowndes / Steven richards||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 1.0748|
|16.||Todd Kelly / Alex Buncombe||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.1235|
|17.||Jack Perkins / Russell Ingall||Holden Racing Team||+ 1.1931|
|18.||Michael Caruso / Dean Fiore||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.1979|
|19.||Rick Kelly / David Russell||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.3837|
|20.||David Wall / Chris Pither||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 1.7926|
|21.||Nick Percat / Oliver Gavin||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.8758|
|22.||Garth Tander / Warren Luff||Holden Racing Team||+ 1.8918|
|23.||Tim Blanchard / Karl Reindler||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 2.6949|
|24.||Aaren Russell / Drew Russell||Novocastrian Motorsport||+ 3.0941|
|25.||Simona de Silvestro / Renee Gracie||Harvey Norman Supergirls||+ 3.4646|
|11.||Ash Walsh / Jack Le Brocq||Erebus Motorsport V8||+ 4.3955|
|WD.||Chaz Mostert / Cameron Waters||Prodrive Racing Australia||withdrew|
Image via V8 Supercars