Shae van Gisbergen has scored a sensational pole position on his first outing in Holden colours

Shane van Gisbergen has defied the threat of a legal injunction from his former employers by claiming pole position on his very first outing in Holden colours at the Clipsal 500 at Adelaide.

The Kiwi – who sensationally U-turned on his decision to retire from the sport at the end of last season – beat Mark Winterbottom to top spot in a closely-fought Top-10 Shootout this afternoon.

Winterbottom held provisional pole until van Gisbergen just pipped his time by a scant four-hundredths of a second, and when Craig Lowndes – the last driver to have a one-lap flier by dint of being the fastest driver in the first phase of qualifying – was unable to better his effort, pole position was van Gisbergen’s.

The result was an incredible fillip for van Gisbergen and his new employer, Tekno Autosports, with the result marking the team’s first pole position in its history. This is despite his former employer, Stone Brothers Racing (now Erebus Motorsport) threatening to launch legal proceedings over alleged breaches of the exit clauses of his contract, which forbade him from competing for any other team in 2013.

The second row of the grid will be occupied by Lowndes and Fabian Coulthard, with reigning series champion Jamie Whincup qualifying fifth-fastest, two sports behind his team-mate.

Proving that the Tekno team’s speed is no fluke, van Gisbergen’s team-mate Jonathon Webb was sixth-fastest, ahead of Will Davison in the second of the Ford Performance Racing entries.

Another team to enjoy a sensational qualifying result was the Garry Rogers Motorsport crew, which saw Alexandre Prémat and his rookie team-mate Scott McLaughlin both qualify in the top-ten. The pair sandwiches James Courtney on the starting grid, while Courtney’s team-mate and former Clipsal 500 winner Garth Tander had a poor qualifying session, mired in eighteenth place.

Debutant racer Scott Pye narrowly missed out on a top-ten berth with the eleventh-fastest time, marking a huge improvement in the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team’s previous results.

Also smiling were the Nissan Motorsport crew, who managed to get two of their four drivers – Michael Caruso and James Moffat – in the top half of the grid in the carmaker’s first appearance in the championship in over twenty years. The sister Nissans of brother pairing Rick and Todd Kelly also managed to qualify within one second of Lowndes’ provisional pole effort in Q1.

By contrast, Erebus Motorsport had a tougher time on AMG’s maiden appearance in the category. The best that the three-car team could manage was a twelfth-row lockout for Lee Holdsworth and Tim Slade, while the third car of debutant Maro Engel – the very car van Gisbergen would have been driving if he’d honoured his contract – qualified last after the German suffered a mechanical failure in qualifying.

The opening race of the season – over 78 laps and 250 kilometres – gets underway tomorrow afternoon.

2013 V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 – Race 1 Qualifying Results:

Driver Entry / Team Top-10 Time
1. Shane van Gisbergen Holden VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports 1:21.3595
2. Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 0.0480
3. Craig Lowndes Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering + 0.0858
4. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.1257
5. Jamie Whincup Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering + 0.1663
6. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports + 0.2321
7. Will Davison Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 0.2963
8. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.4264
9. James Courtney Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 0.8230
10. Scott McLaughlin Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.8640
Driver Entry / Team Q1 Time*
11. Scott Pye Holden EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.6353
12. Russell Ingall Holden SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR + 0.7433
13. Michael Caruso Nissan Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.7970
14. James Moffat Nissan Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.8172
15. Dean Fiore Holden Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.8199
16. Alex Davison Ford Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 0.8662
17. Todd Kelly Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.8746
18. Garth Tander Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 0.9101
19. Rick Kelly Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.9920
20. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 1.0023
21. David Reynolds Ford Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 1.0317
22. Tony D’Alberto Holden Tony D’Alberto Racing + 1.0978
23. Lee Holdsworth AMG IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 1.2475
24. Tim Slade AMG Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 1.3787
25. Tim Blanchard Ford Wilson Security / Dick Johnson Racing + 1.4018
26. David Wall Holden Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 1.4106
27. Jonny Reid Ford ADVAM Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 1.9989
28. Maro Engel AMG SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 2.3402

* Time difference to fastest Q1 lap-time of 1:20.8731 posted by Craig Lowndes.

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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.