Jamie Whincup and co-driver Sebastien Bourdais will start from pole position for today’s opening 300-kilometre race at the ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise.
And Whincup will certainly be smiling from underneath his helmet, with his main championship rival, team-mate Craig Lowndes, qualifying a lowly 15th after he was caught out by the rain showers that hit the circuit during the first qualifying session.
With the regular V8 Supercars drivers doing the honours in qualifying today, Whincup timed his qualifying run well enough to secure a berth in the subsequent one-lap shootout for the ten fastest qualifiers, and then registered a rapid 1:11.7184 to claim pole by just 0.0015 seconds from Garth Tander.
Tander (co-driving with IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe) came close to deposing Whincup on his sole shootout lap.
Ford Performance Racing driver Will Davison held provisional pole until he was overtaken by Whincup; he and co-driver Mika Salo will start from third place.
Steve Owen claimed a strong fourth place in his Paul Morris Motorsport Holden, while the top-six was completed by Alex Davison (Stone Brothers Ford) and V8 Supercars rookie James Moffat (Dick Johnson Ford).
Unexpected showers hit the circuit during the opening qualifying session, which ruined the hopes of any driver who’d failed to get in and post an early lap-time, and Lowndes – sharing his car with three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx – was the highest-profile victim after his Holden was hit by an ignition problem on his installation lap.
V8 Supercars 2011 ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 Qualifying Results:
|1.||J. Whincup / S. Bourdais||Triple 8 Race Engineering||1:11.8651||1:11.7184|
|2.||G. Tander / R. Briscoe||Holden Racing Team||1:11.7238||1:11.7199|
|3.||W. Davison / M. Salo||Ford Performance Racing||1:12.1187||1:12.0516|
|4.||S. Owen / B. Said||Paul Morris Motorsport||1:11.7909||1:12.0756|
|5.||A. Davison / M. Lieb||Stone Brothers Racing||1:11.9228||1:12.2168|
|6.||J. Moffat / J. Hand||Dick Johnson Racing||1:12.4146||1:12.2169|
|7.||L. Holdsworth / S. Pagenaud||Garry Rogers Motorsport||1:11.9527||1:12.2625|
|8.||R. Kelly / J. Bergmeister||Kelly Racing||1:12.2888||1:12.4015|
|9.||S. van Gisbergen / E. Pirro||Stone Brothers Racing||1:12.2082||1:12.4293|
|10.||J. Courtney / D. Turner||Holden Racing Team||1:12.0940||1:12.5161|
|11.||F. Coulthard / P. Long||Walkinshaw Racing||1:12.4327|
|12.||D. Reynolds / A. Tagliani||Kelly Racing||1:12.4927|
|13.||R. Ingall / J. Magnussen||Paul Morris Motorsport||1:12.5084|
|14.||M. Caruso / A. Farfus||Garry Rogers Motorsport||1:12.5576|
|15.||C. Lowndes / A. Priaulx||Triple 8 Race Engineering||1:12.6454|
|16.||J. Webb / G. De Ferran||Tekno Autosports||1:12.8150|
|17.||M. Winterbottom / R. Lyons||Ford Performance Racing||1:12.8154|
|18.||G. Murphy / O. Gavin||Kelly Racing||1:12.9056|
|19.||W. Luff / M. Franchitti||Lucas Dumbrell||1:12.9841|
|20.||S. Johnson / D. Müller||Dick Johnson Racing||1:13.0016|
|21.||K. Reindler / F. Giovanardi||Britek / Brad Jones Racing||1:13.4378|
|22.||T. Kelly / R. Westbrook||Kelly Racing||1:13.5354|
|23.||P. Dumbrell / C. Klien||Rod Nash / FPR||1:13.5363|
|24.||T. Slade / H. Castroneves||Stone Brothers Racing||1:13.5540|
|25.||T/ D’Alberto / V. Liuzzi||Tony D’Alberto Racing||1:13.6604|
|26.||J. Bargwanna / A. Simonsen||Brad Jones Racing||1:13.8961|
|27.||D. Fiore / G. Morbidelli||Triple F Racing||1:14.0163|
|28.||J. Bright / S. Sarrazin||Brad Jones Racing||1:17.0165|
[Image via V8 Supercars]