Jamie Whincup continued his dominance of the Bathurst 1000 by taking pole position for Sunday’s 161-lap race.
Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell have led all but two of the practice sessions and Whincup topped Friday’s qualifying session. He was challenged in the one-car shoot out on Saturday afternoon, but held on to keep the prime spot by 0.065s.
“The car feels good – I am happy to get the result,” the Red Bull Holden driver said after the lap. “Starting from the best place tomorrow but a long day ahead of us.”
His closest challenger, as it was in the qualifying session, was Scott McLaughlin. The Volvo driver took his time to get up to speed, but was satisfied with second.
“It means everything, but congrats to Jamie,” he said. “I gave it my all.”
Third place went to Chaz Mostert. A year after breaking his leg in qualifying and missing the race, the Ford pilot was very swift, and topped Saturday’s practice session and missed pole by 0.1s.
Fellow Ford man Fabian Coulthard was fifth fastest, he and teammate Scott Pye both making it into the top 10.
Tim Slade (Holden) and Michael Caruso (Nissan) will share the third row of the grid, a particularly strong lap from Caruso gaining him four places after being the first driver out in the shoot out.
Shane van Gisbergen had a tough time in his Red Bull Holden, his team going the wrong way on setup, and he will have outgoing Holden Racing Team driver Garth Tander start alongside him on the fourth row.
Mark Winterbottom finished 10th after a couple of driving errors in his lap and the defending Supercars champion looks to have much to do if he is to take a second 1000 victory.
But so will Craig Lowndes. The defending race winner has had a troubled build-up to the race, and he and co-driver Steven Richards will start from 21st on the grid.
BATHURST 1000 STARTING GRID:
|1||J.Whincup, P.Dumbrell||Holden||Triple Eight||2m05.4263s|
|3||C.Mostert, S.Owen||Ford||Rod Nash/PRA||0.1005s|
|4||F.Coulthard, L.Youlden||Ford||DJR Penske||0.2463s|
|5||T.Slade, A.Walsh||Holden||Brad Jones||0.4305s|
|6||M.Caruso, D.Fiore||Nissan||Nissan Motorsport||0.4904s|
|7||S.Gisbergen, A.Premat||Holden||Triple Eight||0.8287s|
|9||S.Pye, T.D’Alberto||Ford||DJR Penske||1.1294s|
|11||J.Bright, A.Jones||Holden||Brad Jones||0.2403s|
|12||C.Pither, R.Stanaway||Ford||Super Black/PRA||0.2543s|
|13||C.Waters, J.Le Brocq||Ford||Prodrive||0.3685s|
|18||D.Wood, D.Russell||Nissan||Nissan Motorsport||0.6056s|
|19||T.Kelly, M.Campbell||Nissan||Nissan Motorsport||0.6310s|
|20||R.Kelly, R.Ingall||Nissan||Nissan Motorsport||0.7552s|
|21||C.Lowndes, S.Richards||Holden||Triple Eight||0.8026s|
|26||S.de Silvestro, R.Gracie||Nissan||Nissan Motorsport||4.2419s|
|27||C.van der Drift, S.Davies||Holden||Erebus||13.9582s|