James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard have ensured a Holden lock-out in qualifying for today’s two races at the Townsville 500.

Final practice this morning saw Shane van Gisbergen put himself as a favourite for pole position honours, finishing on top in three of this weekend’s four free practice sessions.

Qualifying for race 20 began with the two HRT Holdens out in front early on; Courtney and teammate Garth Tander were in a good position for the session. At the halfway point, it was still Courtney and Tander leading the charge with Scott McLaughlin shadowing the pair in his GRM Volvo.

The Red Bull Racing pair of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes were yet to set a lap time at this stage, but eventually went out with just minutes remaining in the session on green tyres. The tactic only worked for Lowndes, who vaulted to fourth place; teammate Whincup would eventually claim the tenth-fastest time.

Tander wasn’t done in his quest for pole, posting a late flier of 1:13.003 to snatch provisional pole, however he was pushed back by his teammate Courtney, who reclaimed top spot with an outstanding 1:12.8026. Tander had to settle for second place, while a late lap from Jason Bright moved him into third ahead of McLaughlin and Lowndes.

Championship leader Mark Winterbottom struggled in the session, qualifying a lowly 17th in his FPR Falcon. In a poor session for the ‘blue oval’, David Reynolds was the best-placed of the Falcons in eleventh.


2014 V8 Supercars Townsville 500 – Race 20 Qualifying:

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:12.803
2. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.210
3. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.224
4. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.268
5. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.304
6. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.347
7. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.386
8. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.448
9. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.452
10. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.468
11. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.533
12. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.542
13. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.595
14. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.639
15. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.662
16. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.689
17. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.764
18. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.863
19. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.902
20. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.923
21. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.943
22. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.994
23. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 1.065
24. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 1.092
25. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 1.125

The Race 21 starting grid will look a little different with Kiwi Fabian Coulthard taking charge of the second qualifying session to claim pole position in his Lockwood Racing Holden.

Craig Lowndes was the first to set a benchmark time, clocking a 1:13.12 to lead the early reckoning in front of Scott McLaughlin and Garth Tander at the halfway mark.

Whincup wasn’t going to repeat his strategic gamble a second time and was out on the track early, locking in provisional fourth position on his opening flyer, although he would eventually fall down to tenth.

Shane van Gisbergen moved to the top of the timesheets with a 1:13.11. The times were dropping fast, with series rookie Nick Percat lowering the benchmark with a 1:13.06, before he was eventually eclipsed by Coulthard. Percat starts a career-best second, while Will Davison impressed with the third-fastest time in his Erebus AMG Mercedes.


2014 V8 Supercars Townsville 500 – Race 21 Qualifying:

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:13.017
2. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.050
3. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.092
4. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.100
5. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.102
6. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.105
7. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.152
8. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.171
9. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.269
10. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.333
11. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.354
12. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.397
13. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.431
14. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.437
15. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.447
16. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.449
17. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.454
18. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.470
19. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.475
20. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.580
21. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.602
22. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.619
23. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.880
24. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.894
25. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 0.916

Image via Christian Hartung

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