Jamie Whincup has posted the fastest time in today’s provisional qualifying session, which will give him the final berth in tomorrow’s one-lap Top-10 Shootout to determine the final starting order for the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
Such was Whincup’s dominance in the session’s early proceedings, the Red Bull Racing Australia driver opted to sit out the final ten minutes of the session while his rivals tried, and failed, to better his benchmark effort.
Mark Winterbottom came closest, with the Ford Performance Racing driver getting to within six-hundredths of a second of the reigning champion’s 2:08.0054 benchmark effort.
Four Holdens rounded out the top six positions, with Jason Bright, James Courtney, Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes doing the honours, although Lowndes could have improved his position were it not for having an off at Murray’s Corner on his final lap.
Whincup wasn’t without his own wild moments, however, clipping the wall at the Dipper on his second flying lap, which sent him scurrying back into the pits for a once-over from his mechanics before he emerged back on track to improve his earlier time.
Behind the leading six came Winterbottom’s FPR stablemates, Will Davison and David Reynolds, who opted to keep their qualifying running to a minimum in order to conserve tyre sets for Sunday’s 161-lap race.
The Fujitsu GRM Holdens of Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat rounded out the top-ten, with both setting their best times on the final flying laps to make the Top-10 Shootout tomorrow. It was a major improvement for Premat, who was kept out of qualifying at last year’s event when his co-driver Jack Perkins proved quicker.
Their performance proved enough to knock former Bathurst winner Garth Tander out of tomorrow’s Shootout.
Fabian Coulthard was another high-profile casualty, qualifying his Lockwood Racing Commodore fourteenth-fastest as his straight-line speed struggles continued, despite a pre-session engine change.
International duo Mattias Ekstrom and Andry Priaulx knocked on the door of a shock Top-10 Shootout appearance after provisionally going seventh quickest in the early part of the session, but the Swede was unable to improve his pace, leaving the pair down in 18th. They share the ninth row of the grid with Michael Caruso, who was the fastest of the four Nissan entries.
Steven Johnson was the only co-driver to go out in qualifying, with Erebus Motorsport opting for the Queenslander’s experience ahead of regular driver Maro Engel. The Mercedes outfit only had two of its three cars in the session, with repairs to Tim Slade’s #47 entry set to continue well into Saturday after his huge practice accident.
Chaz Mostert was also missing in action in his Tuff-Green-liveried Dick Johnson Racing Ford after he had a practice accident before qualifying.
2013 V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000 – Preliminary Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||Triple 8 Engineering||2:08.0054|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Richards||Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.0558|
|3.||Jason Bright / Andrew Jones||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.2130|
|4.||James Courtney / Greg Murphy||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 0.2422|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen / Jeroen Bleekemolen||Tekno Autosports||+ 0.2770|
|6.||Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff||Triple 8 Engineering||+ 0.3988|
|7.||Will Davison / Steve Owen||Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.4397|
|8.||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.4421|
|9.||Scott McLaughlin / Jack Perkins||Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.5738|
|10.||Alexandre Prémat / Greg Ritter||Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.5846|
|11.||Garth Tander / Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 0.6322|
|12.||Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird||Erebus Motorsport||+ 0.7102|
|13.||David Wall / Chris Pither||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.8623|
|14.||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||Brad Jones Racing||+ 0.8642|
|15.||Tony D’Alberto / Jonny Reid||Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 0.8780|
|16.||Maro Engel / Steven Johnson||Erebus Motorsport||+ 0.9249|
|17.||Michael Caruso / Daniel Gaunt||Nissan Motorsport||+ 0.9266|
|18.||Mattias Ekstrom / Andry Priaulx||Triple 8 Engineering||+ 0.9946|
|19.||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.0975|
|20.||Jonathon Webb / Marc Lieb||Tekno Autosports||+ 1.1304|
|21.||Tim Blanchard / Ashley Walsh||Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1.1858|
|22.||Scott Pye / Paul Morris||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.3377|
|23.||Todd Kelly / David Russell||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.3404|
|24.||Rick Kelly / Karl Reindler||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1.4807|
|25.||Russell Ingall / Ryan Briscoe||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 1.5881|
|26.||Alex Davison / John McIntyre||Ford Performance Racing||+ 1.6614|
|27.||Dean Fiore / Matt Halliday||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1.6914|
|Did Not Qualify|
|NQ.||Chaz Mostert / Dale Wood||Dick Johnson Racing||no time|
|NQ.||Tim Slade / Andrew Thompson||Erebus Motorsport||no time|