Jamie Whincup took pole for today's opening race of the ITM400 at Hamilton

Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup has secured the 24th pole position of his V8 Supercars career after posting the fastest time in a damp Top-10 Shootout to determine the grid for today’s first race in the ITM400 at Hamilton.

Fifth-quickest in the open qualifying session, Whincup’s single flying lap of 1:34.5918 was enough to ensure that he is the event’s first repeat fastest qualifier, with all previous races here providing fans with a different pole-sitter.

Just over 0.1 seconds slower than Whincup was Steven Johnson, who took his DJR Ford around the Hamilton street circuit quickest of anyone in the first phase of qualifying to get through to the Shootout.

Conditions were treacherous for the entire 28-car field after heavy morning rain had soaked the circuit, and the short qualifying session called for patience and nerves of steel while waiting for the right moment to deliver a good lap time.

However, it was little surprise to see some big names languishing down the order after being caught out in the gripless conditions. Defending series champion James Courtney was one such victim, sliding his TOLL Holden into the wall and breaking steering – he will start from 22nd on the grid.

Courtney’s grid slot is likely to improve one slot, however, as Paul Dumbrell slapped the concrete at serious speed, causing significant damage to the right-front corner of his Ford that has threatened to eliminate him from being able to start today’s 59-lap race.

Video highlights from Hamilton’s qualifying session

The red flags were brought out for both accidents at Turn 3, and once running resumed it was Johnson – piloting an older Falcon chassis after his was badly damaged during the Australian Grand Prix support races – who ended the session fastest, ahead of Rock Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup, David Reynolds, Greg Murphy, Tony D’Alberto, Dean Fiore and Garth Tander – all of whom moved through to the Shootout to determine pole position.

It was a good day for the Dick Johnson Racing outfit, with Johnson’s rookie team-mate James Moffatt qualifying a very impressive 12th-fastest.

The Top-10 Shootout saw the appearances for two of the grid’s three local drivers, with only Fabian Coulthard missing out on a berth to the final phase of qualifying.

At the end of this single-lap session, it was Whincup who emerged quickest, while Johnson finished just shy of the Vodafone driver’s faster time – it was still his best qualifying effort since he managed pole position at the same venue two years ago.

Row 2 will be shared by Rick Kelly, who starts alongside the fastest New Zealander in the field, Shane van Gisbergen, who enjoyed the support of the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, who paid a visit to his team garage.

The Kelly Racing-operated outfits also enjoyed a solid run, with Greg Murphy and David Reynolds (a personal best result) making it through to the shootout.


V8 Supercars ITM400 Hamilton Qualifying Results (Race 1):

Driver Team Q1 Top-10
1. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone 1:36:5077 1:34:5918
2. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing 1:35:8538 1:34:7234
3. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing 1:35:9807 1:35:1252
4. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tool Racing FPR 1:36:0896 1:35:2582
5. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone 1:36:3580 1:35:5132
6. Garth Tander Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team 1:36:9763 1:35:8709
7. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing 1:36:7770 1:36:6778
8. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew 1:36:8028 1:38:3523
9. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security Racing 1:36:8435 1:43:7645
10. Dean Fiore Ford Triple F Racing 1:36:8624 time excl.
11. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel FPR 1:37:0891
12. James Moffatt Ford Jim Beam Racing 1:37:1194
13. Will Davison Ford Trading Post FPR 1:37:2843
14. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team 1:37:4044
15. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg Racing 1:37:6021
16. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto Racing 1:37:7559
17. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing 1:37:7904
18. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team 1:37:8300
19. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing 1:37:8479
20. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC 1:38:1719
21. Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods 1:38:2784
22. James Courtney Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team 1:38:9804
23. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing 1:39:0865
24. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing GRM 1:39:3077
25. Jason Bargwanna Holden Jana Living Racing 1:39:6767
26. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing 1:40:1066
27. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing GRM 1:40:2031
28. Alex Davison Ford Irwin Racing 1:42:9963

* Top-10 starting order determined via a separate top-ten single-lap qualifying session

[Image via Team Vodafone; Video via V8 Supercars]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.