Mark Winterbottom will start from the front row of the grid for Sunday’s season-opening round of the Stock Car Brasil Championship, the Race of the Duos, at the Autódromo Internacional Ayrton Senna in Goiânia.

The Prodrive Racing driver made his debut at the shared driving event last year, finishing in third place.

Sharing the cockpit with local driver Marco Gomes just one week after sweeping to victory in all four non-championship races at the Australian Grand Prix, the pair finished second-fastest in a dry qualifying session.

With the series’ regular drivers going out first, followed by their invited co-drivers, the starting grid order was determined by the average of each pairing’s fastest lap times in the session.

Pole position was claimed by Átila Abreu and co-driver Nelson Piquet Jr in their AMG Motorsport Chevrolet Sonic, with Gomes and Winterbottom claiming second-fastest, three-tenths of a second slower in their Voxx Racing Peugeot 408.

“It’s been great for the team; front-row start is very positive,” Winterbottom said afterwards.

“We’ve made some changes to the car this morning and in qualifying I felt pretty uncomfortable, but Marcos did a great job. We can win the race, and I think we are in a good position.”

Reigning series champion and former F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello qualified 26th-fastest with co-driver and former F1 racer Ingo Hoffman, with the pair seeing their fastest time disallowed for ignoring waved blue flags.

Aside from Barrichello and Hoffman, the 33-car field features a substantial number of former Grand Prix drivers, including Jaime Alguersuari, Chico Serra, Luciano Burti, Enrique Bernoldi, Antônio Pizzonia, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi. Reigning FIA World Touring Car Championship winner José María López is also in the field, along with last weekend’s Formula E race-winner in Miami, Nicolas Prost.

Former BAR teammates Ricardo Zonta and Jacques Villeneuve will pair up for the first time since the 2000 Formula 1 season, driving a Shell Racing Chevrolet.

2015 Stock Car Brasil Race of the Duos – Final Qualifying:

Driver / Co-Driver Team Time
1. Átila Abreu / Nelson Piquet Jr AMG Motorsport Citroen 1:24.234
2. Marcos Gomes / Mark Winterbottom Voxx Racing Team Citroen 1:24.539
3. Valdeno Brito / Laurens Vanthoor Shell Racing Citroen 1:24.632
4. Ricardo Maurício / Nestor Girolami Eurofarma RC Citroen 1:24.635
5. Thiago Camilo / Lucas Di Grassi Ipiranga-RCM Citroen 1:24.636
6. Allam Khodair / António Félix da Costa Full Time Sports Citroen 1:24.686
7. Cacá Bueno / José María López Red Bull Racing Citroen 1:24.732
8. Felipe Lapenna / Vitantonio Liuzzi Schin Racing Team Citroen 1:24.807
9. Lucas Foresti / Luiz Razia AMG Motorsport Citroen 1:24.841
10. Vítor Genz / Matheus Stumpf Boettger Competições Citroen 1:24.851
11. Galid Osman / Beto Monteiro Ipiranga-RCM Citroen 1:24.863
12. Júlio Campos / Nicolas Prost Prati-Donaduzzi Citroen 1:24.871
13. Diego Nunes / Ricardo Rosset Vogel Motorsport Citroen 1:24.874
14. Felipe Fraga / Álvaro Parente Voxx Racing Team Citroen 1:24.904
15. Denis Navarro / Felipe Giaffone Vogel Motorsport Citroen 1:24.952
16. César Ramos / Frederic Vervish Cavaleiro Racing Sports Citroen 1:25.069
17. Sergio Jimenez / Fabio Carbone C2 Team Citroen 1:25.044
18. Ricardo Zonta / Jacques Villeneuve Shell Racing Citroen 1:25.090
19. Max Wilson / Vitor Meira Eurofarma RC Citroen 1:25.199
20. Antônio Pizzonia / Bruno Senna Prati-Donaduzzi Citroen 1:25.225
21. Gabriel Casagrande / Enrique Bernoldi C2 Team Citroen 1:25.242
22. Ana Beatriz / Matias Milla RC3 Bassani Citroen 1:25.253
23. Fabio Fogaça / Leandro Totti Hot Car Competições Citroen 1:25.287
24. Luciano Burti / Jaime Alguersuari RZ Motorsport Citroen 1:25.335
25. Tuka Rocha / Chris van der Drift* RC3 Bassani Citroen 1:25.169
26. Rubens Barrichello / Ingo Hoffman* Full Time Sports Citroen 1:25.469
27. Daniel Serra / Chico Serra Red Bull Racing Citroen 1:25.419
28. Rafael Suzuki / Antonio Perez RZ Motorsport Citroen 1:25.578
29. Alceu Feldmann / Ezequiel Raul Bosio Boettger Competições Citroen 1:25.730
30. Raphael Abbate / Nicolas Costa Hot Car Competições Citroen 1:25.944
31. Felipe Maluhy / Xandynho Negrão ProGP Citroen 1:26.023
32. Raphael Mattos / David Mufatto Schin Racing Team Citroen 1:27.674
EXC. Popó Bueno / Guilherme Salas** Cavaleiro Racing Sports Citroen excluded

* Ignored blue flags, best lap cancelled
** Times excluded, underweight

Image via Mark Winterbottom

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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.