Mark Winterbottom will start from pole position for today's first race at Symmons Plains

Ford Performance Racing’s dominant start to the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship season continues, with Mark Winterbottom just edging out team-mate and early points leader Will Davison to pole position ahead of the opening race at this weekend’s Falken Tasmania Challenge from Symmons Plains Raceway.

Winterbottom’s 54.4020s lap-time gave him the twenty-second pole position of his career, his first in almost a year. His last pole position came at the Sucrogen 400 at Townsville. Team-mate Davidson ensured an all-FPR front-row, just missing out on top spot by one-hundredth of a second.

Stone Brothers Racing driver Shane van Gisbergen looked set to claim his first V8 Supercars pole position, only to be displaced by Winterbottom and Davison in the final minute of the twenty-minute qualifying session. He ran wide at the final corner of his last flying lap.

The New Zealander share the second row of the grid with defending series champion Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Racing), with Whincup’s team-mate Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) occupying the third row.

FPR stablemate David Reynolds showed his inherent pace with the seventh-fastest time, while rookie driver Taz Douglas gave Lucas Dumbrell Racing its best ever qualifying result when he qualified eighth-fastest.

Jonathon Webb finished the session ninth-fastest in his rebuilt Tekno Holden Commodore, while Steven Johnson (Dick Johnson Racing) made a welcome return to the top-ten for the first time since August last year.


2012 V8 Supercars Falken Tasmania Challenge – Race 1 Qualifying Results:

Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing 51.4020
2. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 0.0999
3. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.1062
4. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 0.1094
5. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 0.1268
5. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 0.1875
7. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 0.2516
8. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.2701
9. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports + 0.3246
10. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.3734
11. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.3906
12. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.3951
13. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.4151
14. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 0.4268
15. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 0.4448
16. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 0.4688
17. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.5524
18. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.5651
19. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing + 0.5755
20. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.5849
21. Tony D’Alberto Ford Tony D’Alberto Racing + 0.6328
22. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 0.6743
23. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.7092
24. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports + 0.7094
25. David Russell Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 0.8662
26. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.8756
27. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing + 1.0050
28. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing + 1.2453

The afternoon sees the 28-car field undertake a 59-lap race, starting at 4:10pm AEDST.

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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.