The V8 Supercar Championship’s visit to New Zealand might still be three weeks away, but that has stopped the field’s trans-Tasman cousins from giving the rest of the field a bit of a lesson in today’s two qualifying sessions at Victoria’s Winton Raceway.

Fabian Coulthard broke the circuit’s lap record en route to winning pole position for today’s opening race, and then backed up the effort with an even better time in the second qualifying session for Race 2.

His Lockwood Racing Holden proved to be the machine to beat in Friday practice, and despite concerns over sections of the track breaking up yesterday, Coulthard narrowly edged out his fellow Kiwi, Shane van Gisbergen to claim qualifying honours for Race 1.

In what proved to be a strong showing for the Brad Jones Racing stable, Coulthard’s teammate Dale Wood was third-fastest, while Jason Bright was sixth-quickest in the ten-minute session.

Championship leader Craig Lowndes shares the second row of the grid with Wood, while his Red Bull Racing Australia teammate and reigning champion, Jamie Whincup, was ten spots further back.

Last year’s Winton race-winner, James Moffat, was fifth-fastest, with teammate Rick Kelly two spots further back in an encouraging showing for the revamped Altima racer.

Nick Percat, Chaz Mostert and Garth Tander completed the top ten.

Mostert was the only Ford runner to qualify well, with the other ‘Blue Oval’ runners struggling in the session; all will line up on the back half of the grid.

Having topped one of the Friday practice sessions, Russell Ingal struck disaster in the opening session, as mechanical gremlins prevented him from setting a truly representative time.


2014 V8 Supercars Winton 400 – Race 1 Qualifying:

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:20.044
2. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.029
3. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.209
4. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.312
5. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.377
6. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.598
7. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.603
8. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.626
9. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.633
10. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.660
11. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.707
12. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.712
13. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.764
14. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.820
15. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.876
16. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.894
17. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.921
18. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.925
19. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.927
20. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 1.005
21. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 1.136
22. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 1.341
23. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 1.344
24. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 1.397
25. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 1.401

While Coulthard kicked off where he left off in the first qualifying session with another pole position, Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen made it a 1-2-3 on the grid for New Zealand, with Lee Holdsworth giving the Erebus AMG team some cheer with the fourth-fastest time.

After Ford’s struggles in the first qualifying session, four of the six Falcons in the field qualified inside the top-ten, with David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom locking out the third row of the grid.

James Moffat repeated his solid qualifying pace from the first session with the seventh-fastest time, while Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert, and Scott Pye completed the top ten places.

Reigning champions Red Bull Racing Australia had a shocking qualifying session, with Jamie Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes qualifying a lowly 21st and 23rd respectively.

Series returnee Jack Perkins continued with his qualifying struggles, and will once again line up outside the top-twenty in his Jeld-Wen Ford.

Today’s two races, held over 100 kilometres each, will take place at 2:00pm and 4:25pm local time (GMT +11).


2014 V8 Supercars Winton 400 – Race 2 Qualifying:

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:19.654
2. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.147
3. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.324
4. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.371
5. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.461
6. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.542
7. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.581
8. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.620
9. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.625
10. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.626
11. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.646
12. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.647
13. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.671
14. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.721
15. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.756
16. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.782
17. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.784
18. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.818
19. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.866
20. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.964
21. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 1.012
22. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 1.130
23. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 1.273
24. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 1.359
25. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden no time

Image via Lockwood Racing

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Geoff Burke

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