Jamie Whincup claimed top spot on the grid for today's opening race at Sydney Motorsport Park

V8 Supercars championship leader Jamie Whincup has narrowly claimed pole position for today’s return race at Sydney Motorsport Park, edging out surprise contender Jonathon Webb for top spot on the grid.

In a dramatic qualifying session at the Eastern Creek circuit, Webb looked set to win his maiden V8 Supercars pole position, only to be denied by Whincup, who pipped his time by less than two-hundredths of a second.

It was a miraculous recovery for Whincup, whose prospects of extending his championship lead – which had been trimmed following back-to-back wins by Triple 8 Racing team-mate Craig Lowndes last time out at the Ipswich 300 – looked to take a further dent when he made a mistake on his first qualifying run.

After switching to the softer Dunlop tyres for another run, he delivered a composed 1:29.6353 lap time to claim the prime starting position, relegating Webb to second place.

Former championship leader Will Davison is the best-placed Ford driver in third place, sharing the second row of the grid with Michael Caruso, who easily put in his best qualifying performance of the season to be fourth-quickest in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden at his home race.

Mark Winterbottom was fifth-quickest in the sister FPR entry, while Lowndes was sixth-quickest. The top-ten was completed by David Reynolds, Shane van Gisbergen, Tony D’Alberto and the improving Russell Ingall.

2012 V8 Supercars Championship – Sydney Motorsport 360 Race 1 Qualifying Results/l

Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 1:29.6353
2. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports + 0.0189
3. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 0.0541
4. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.1017
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 0.1115
6. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing + 0.1288
7. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 0.1476
8. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.3043
9. Tony D’Alberto Ford HIFLEX / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 0.3157
10. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing + 0.3173
11. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 0.3454
12. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports + 0.4336
13. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 0.4949
14. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.5318
15. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 0.5552
16. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.5668
17. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 0.5747
18. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.6045
19. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing + 0.6147
20. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.6731
21. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 0.6836
22. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.7073
23. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.7631
24. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.7729
25. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing + 0.7854
26. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.9962
27. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing + 2.1288
28. Jacques Villeneuve Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 2.4795

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Our regular V8 Supercars contributor, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, is currently on holidays in America.

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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.