Rick Kelly has claimed pole position for today's V8 race at Sandown Raceway

Rick Kelly has claimed pole position for the first of two races at the Norton 360 Challenge at Sandown Raceway, beating championship leader Jamie Whincup (Team Vodafone Holden) to top spot by two-tenths of a second in a rain-hit qualifying session.

Whincup’s main championship rival, team-mate Craig Lowndes, will line up from the back of the grid after a disastrous session.

The damp conditions created a gripless surface for the field’s 28 drivers, and even Kelly slid off the road on several occasions during the frantic twenty-minute session.

He and Whincup traded fastest times over the course of the session, before he went on to claim his second pole of the season.

While the pair shares the front row, the other big story was the calamitous session for Lowndes. Usually an ultra-dependable driver in qualifying, Lowndes has placed himself under enormous pressure to keep his title hopes alive, but he’ll have it all to do after qualifying on the back row of the grid.

Will Davison (Ford Performance Racing) and  Shane van Gisbergen (Stone Brother Ford) will start on the second row, followed by Tim Slade (Stone Brothers) and David Reynolds (Kelly Racing Holden).

The top-ten is completed by Paul Dumbrell (Rod Nash Ford), James Courtney (Holden Racing Team), Steve Owen (Paul Morris Holden) and Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team).

Credit to Warren Luff (Lucas Dumbrell Holden), who starts a season’s best 11th-fastest after what has been a truly difficult season.

Today’s 39-lap race starts at 4:05pm local time.



V8 Supercars Norton 360 Sandown Challenge Qualifying Results (Race 1):

Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 1:19.8997
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 0.2052
3. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 0.6050
4. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.9221
5. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.9374
6. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing + 0.9712
7. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 0.9718
8. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 0.9828
9. Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport + 1.1099
10. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 1.1520
11. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil / Lucas Dumbrell + 1.1548
12. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 1.3071
13. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport + 1.3394
14. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 1.3560
15. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno + 1.5322
16. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 1.5622
17. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 1.5700
18. James Moffat Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 1.5770
19. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg Racing / Walkinshaw Racing + 1.5842
20. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 1.6112
21. Dean Fiore Ford Westrac Racing / Triple F Racing + 1.8238
22. Andrew Jones Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 1.8455
23. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 1.9675
24. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 2.2049
25. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing + 2.3370
26. Jason Bargwanna Holden Jana Living Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 2.4828
27. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 2.4908
28. Alex Davison Ford Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing + 3.3296

[Image via Kelly Racing; Video via V8 Supercars Media]

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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.