James Courtney has won pole position in an incredibly tight Top 10 Shootout for Sunday’s 250-kilometre feature race of the V8 Supercars Championship’s season-opening Clipsal 500 at Adelaide. The fastest six cars in the one-lap qualifying dash were covered by less than one-tenth of a second.

With Courtney qualifying third-fastest in an earlier provisional session which saw series returnee Marcos Ambrose make the top-ten cut for the first time in his comeback, the HRT driver claimed provisional pole after knocking Saturday Race 2 winner Fabian Coulthard from top spot.

James Moffat was the penultimate man out after provisionally qualifying an impressive second-fastest in his Nissan. He clocked the fastest time up to the second sector, only to lose out in the final few corners and fall to fifth. Provisional pole man Shane van Gisbergen also fell just short and starts from sixth place, lapping just 0.096 seconds slower than Courtney.

Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin ensured the would qualify in the top-four for all races this weekend and will share the second row of the grid. Seventh through to tenth on the grid were claimed by Garth Tander, Tim Slade, Marcos Ambrose (who hit the Turn 4 wall on his cool-down lap) and Jason Bright.

Marcos Ambrose, 2015 Clipsal 500

Ambrose made the ‘Top 1- Shootout’ for the first time.

Hitting the wall aside, Ambrose’s qualifying performance was particularly impressive after a pair of 24th-fastest efforts for both Saturday races. The Tasmanian was one of a number of drivers to post his quickest time in the dying seconds of the opening session, in which van Gisbergen lowered the track lap record even further.

The two-part qualifying session saw a number of notable runners fail to make the cut. Both Prodrive Racing Fords of Mark Winterbottom (11th) and Chaz Mostert (17th) qualified outside the top-ten, while series veteran Craig Lowndes (14th) also missed out.

The 250-kilometre Race 3 of the V8 Supercars Championship will get underway at 15:25 local time.


2015 V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Adelaide – Race 3 Qualifying:

‘Top 10 Shootout’ Team / Entry Result
1. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden 1:20.540
2. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.044
3. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.063
4. Scott McLaughlin Wilson Security Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.068
5. James Moffat Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33 Nissan + 0.071
6. Shane van Gisbergen Team TEKNO Darrell Lea / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.096
7. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.481
8. Tim Slade Walkinshaw Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.610
9. Marcos Ambrose DJR Team Penske / Ford Falcon FG X Ford + 0.628
10. Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.693
Preliminary Qualifying Team / Entry Result*
11. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew Prodrive / Ford Falcon FG X Ford + 0.336
12. Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33 Nissan + 0.346
13. Lee Holdsworth CS Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.440
14. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.467
15. Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33 Nissan + 0.524
16. Dale Wood Brad Jones Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.545
17. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew Prodrive / Ford Falcon FG X Ford + 0.555
18. Ashley Walsh Erebus Motorsport V8 / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.557
19. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport / Nissan Altima L33 Nissan + 0.584
20. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.610
21. David Wall Wilson Security Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 0.642
22. Nick Percat Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.645
23. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport V8 / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 0.776
24. Andre Heimgartner Super Black Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 0.893
25. Tim Blanchard Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 1.812

* Denotes gap to fastest preliminary qualifying time of 1:02.008 by Shane van Gisbergen


Images via Christian Hartung and V8 Supercars Championship 

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