Jamie Whincup celebrates pole position for today's SuperSprint race at Queensland Raceway

Jamie Whincup has bounced back from a horror weekend last time out at Townsville to claim pole position for Saturday’s 60/60 SuperSprint race at the Coates Hire Ipswich 360.

The Red Bull Racing Australia threw his Holden Commodore around the 3.12-kilometre Queensland Raceway circuit with a rapid 1:09.2730, narrowly edging out impressive rookie Scott McLaughlin for top spot by just three-hundredths of a second.

It marked back-to-back front row starts for the Fujitsu GRM driver, whose services have been retained on a multi-year deal as the team becomes Volvo’s factory effort in 2014 and beyond.

Such was the closeness of today’s qualifying session – with just eight-tenths of a second covering the entire 28-car field – that the smallest or errors in car set-up or out on the circuit could mean the difference between starting at the front or right at the back.

The Erebus Motorsport squad enjoyed much-improved speed in practice, but couldn't replicate it in qualifyingA case in point was with the Erebus Motorsport squad, which managed to get its three AMG Mercedes entries right up at the pointy end of the timesheets in the three preceding practice sessions for the first time this season. The cars were enjoying the benefit of new engine upgrades, but they weren’t able to replicate the same form in qualifying. Tim Slade proved the best with the ninth-fastest time, but teammates Lee Holdsworth and Maro Engel were mired in the bottom half of the field, albeit just a few tenths slower.

Up at the front, Fabian Coulthard made it a Holden trifecta in qualifying, with Mark Winterbottom finishing best of Ford’s thin field of runners in fourth. James Courtney and Craig Lowndes – a five-in-a-row winner here – will start from the third row, ahead of David Reynolds and Shane van Gisbergen.

Qualifying proved disappointing for several drivers. Townsville winner Garth Tander could count himself one of the losers in the twenty-minute session with just the nineteenth-fastest effort.

Another driver under a cloud is Scott Pye, whose seat at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport is rumoured to be under serious threat after a series of poor performances following his stellar debut at the Clipsal 500. The teenager qualified on the back row of the grid to continue a nightmare run.

Today’s 60/60 SuperSprint – which takes place of two twenty-lap 60-kilometre race legs where the final race will pay championship points – gets underway at 3:30pm local time.

2013 V8 Supercars Coates Hire Ipswich 360 – Race 1 Qualifying Results:

Driver Entry / Team T10 Result
1. Jamie Whincup Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering 1:09.2730
2. Scott McLaughlin Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.0333
3. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.0464
4. Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 0.0962
5. James Courtney Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 0.1119
6. Craig Lowndes Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering + 0.1246
7. David Reynolds Ford Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 0.1275
8. Shane van Gisbergen Holden VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports + 0.1578
9. Tim Slade AMG Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 0.1736
10. Will Davison Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 0.1956
11. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 0.1988
12. Alex Davison Ford Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 0.2253
13. Chaz Mostert Ford Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.2582
14. Todd Kelly Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.2819
15. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 0.3003
16. James Moffat Nissan Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.3368
17. Lee Holdsworth AMG IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 0.3390
18. Maro Engel AMG SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 0.3908
19. Garth Tander Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 0.4043
20. Dean Fiore Holden Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.4781
21. David Wall Holden Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.4797
22. Rick Kelly Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.5138
23. Jonathon Webb Holden Darrell Lea Racing / Tekno Autosports + 0.5697
24. Russell Ingall Holden SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR + 0.5789
25. Tim Blanchard Ford Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing + 0.7665
26. Tony D’Alberto Holden Team HIFLEX / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 0.7779
27. Scott Pye Holden EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.8006
28. Michael Caruso Nissan Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.8086

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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.