It’s been a long wait, but Tim Slade has finally broken through to claim his maiden V8 Supercars Championship pole position. The Stone Brothers Racing Ford driver made it through a rain-hit opening qualifying session to edge out Will Davison for top spot in the afternoon’s Top-10 pole shootout around the streets of Sydney Olympic Park.
With the opening qualifying session held at the unusually early time of 9:00am, the morning drizzle saw a host of more-fancied runners fail to make the qualifying cut for the afternoons all-important one-lap shootout for pole position.
Champion-elect Jamie Whincup could manage no better than 14th, while TeamVodafone team-mate Craig Lowndes was two spots further adrift.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Lowndes, as Mark Winterbottom – his main rival for second place in the championship – qualified a lowly 25th in his Ford Performance Racing entry.
Winterbottom’s team-mate Will Davison was fastest in the overall session, and it was a minor error on his flying lap that ensured Slade would claim his first pole position ahead of an unfamiliar top-ten that included the likes of Steven Johnson, Alexandre Premat, Michael Caruso, Russell Ingall, Tony D’Alberto.
The first of this weekend’s two 250-kilometre races get underway this afternoon and the conditions are expected to be vastly different from the morning’s drizzle. Weather forecasters are predicting heatwave conditions, which will make today’s 74-lap race an enormous test of endurance for the 28-car field.
2012 V8 Supercars Sydney Telstra 500 – Race 1 Qualifying:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Top-10 Time|
|1.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||1:29.5515|
|2.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.0876|
|3.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.1164|
|4.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.4663|
|5.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.6038|
|6.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||+ 0.7177|
|7.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 0.7876|
|8.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 0.9264|
|9.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 0.9870|
|10.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||no time|
|Driver||Entry / Team||Q1 Time|
|11.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||1:30.9038|
|12.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||1:30.9226|
|13.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||1:30.9300|
|14.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:30.9770|
|15.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||1:30.9820|
|16.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||1:30.9989|
|17.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||1:31.0444|
|18.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||1:31.1944|
|19.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||1:31.2196|
|20.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||1:31.5836|
|21.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||1:31.7399|
|22.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||1:31.7422|
|23.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||1:31.7526|
|24.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||1:31.8283|
|25.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||1:31.8486|
|26.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||1:32.6801|
|27.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||1:33.1485|
|28.||Tim Blanchard||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||1:33.1699|