Will Davison has claimed back-to-back pole positions after qualifying fastest once again at the last race of the V8 Supercars season. Despite the Ford Performance Racing drivers’ impressive achievements, everyone’s eyes were on the battle between the two championship protagonists, Jamie Whincup and yesterday’s race-winner Craig Lowndes.
This morning’s twenty-minute qualifying session was frantic, punctuated by a succession of spins and slides into the unforgiving concrete walls lining the Homebush circuit.
In his final championship race before retirement, Paul Dumbrell (Rod Nash Ford) and Garth Tander (HRT Holden) enjoyed a battle at the top of the timesheets, until Tander became one of the first victims to hit the wall.
Greg Murphy (Kelly Racing Holden), Dean Fiore (Triple F Ford) Jason Bargwanna (Brad Jones Holden) and Michael Caruso (GRM Holden) were other drivers to come to grief around the circuit, while Whincup was clearly feeling the strain when he had a spin at Turn 9.
In the dying minutes of the session, Lowndes had climbed to provisional pole, while a desperate Whincup was mired in 23rd.
But the FPR drivers Davison and team-mate Mark Winterbottom had other ideas, and quickly moved back to the top of the timesheets, before a late run by Whincup moved him into second place, displacing Winterbottom off the front row. Lowndes ended up fourth-quickest.
Whincup leads Lowndes by just 83 points, with today’s 74-lap race giving a maximum of 150 points to the race-winner. For Whincup to win the championship, he needs to finish inside the top-twelve, irrespective of where Lowndes manages to finish.
This afternoon’s race should be a thriller, and rain is expected to produce an added challenge for drivers as well.
V8 Supercars Sydney Telstra 500 Qualifying Results (Race 1):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||1:27.456|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:27.626|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||1:27.699|
|4.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:27.909|
|5.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||1:27.931|
|6.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||1:28.000|
|7.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||1:28.020|
|8.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno||1:28.133|
|9.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing||1:28.166|
|10.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||1:28.179|
|11.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport||1:28.289|
|12.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||1:28.399|
|13.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||1:28.510|
|14.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||1:28.523|
|15.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing||1:28.530|
|16.||Alex Davison||Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing||1:28.554|
|17.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||1:28.574|
|18.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg Racing / Walkinshaw Racing||1:28.602|
|19.||James Moffat||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||1:28.893|
|20.||Jason Bargwanna||Jana Living Racing / Brad Jones Racing||1:28.947|
|21.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||1:28.982|
|22.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport||1:29.026|
|23.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil / Lucas Dumbrell||1:29.070|
|24.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing||1:29.100|
|25.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||1:29.163|
|26.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||no time|
|27.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||no time|
|28.||Dean Fiore||Westrac Racing / Triple F Racing||no time|
[Image via Daily Telegraph; video via V8 Supercars]