TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup topped the timesheets in a closely fought Friday Qualifying session at the Mount Panorama circuit.
Hot sunshine greeted the V8 Supercars field in a session which decided who will battle for pole position in Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout. The session also formed the grid for positions 11 down to 29 for Sunday’s ‘Great Race’.
The session started in a lively fashion with last year’s winner Garth Tander, driving for the Holden Racing Team, locking up and going into the barriers at Griffins Bend bringing out the red flags. Luckily his cars wasn’t too badly damaged and he was able to continue, setting the eighth fastest time and earning a place in the Top 10 Shootout in the process.
Another driver enjoying his fair share of moments on the Mountain was Team Norton DJR’s James Moffat. The son of four-time Bathurst winner Allan Moffat, spun at The Caltex Chase before continuing.
Tradingpost FPR’s Will Davison set the pace early on with Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard in second. Race favourite Craig Lowndes, sporting a retro livery in tribute to Peter Brock on his TeamVodafone Holden, seemed in danger lingering adrift of the crucial top 10 with only 15 minutes of the session remaining. However, the five-time Bathurst winner soon found his groove and broke into the top 10 in with little more than three minutes left on the clock.
Davison remained at the top as the clock ticked towards the chequered flag and the drivers prepared for their final runs up the Mountain. The final minutes saw the standings change as the recovering Tander moved into second with Lowndes third and Whincup emerging in fourth.
Coulthard responded with a late effort to move into second just eight hundredths of a second slower, but he couldn’t beat Whincup, who topped the timesheets with an impressive 2.07.7145s.
Another driver who shined in the dying seconds was Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom as he moved into third, demoting team mate Davison to fourth and Lowndes to fifth. New Zealand’s Shane Van Gisbergen in the SP Tools entry was sixth, Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade was seventh followed by Tander, VIP Petfood’s Steve Owen and The Bottle-O Racing Team’s David Reynolds.
UPDATE: Michael Patrizi has been handed a five-place grid penalty after an altercation with Team BOC’s Jason Bright. The #91 Tekno Autosports Commodore driver was found guilty of impeding Bright during the qualifying session and will now start from 25th.
Friday Qualifying Results:
1. Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell, #1 TeamVodafone Commodore, 2m07.7145s
2. Fabian Coulthard/David Besnard, #14 Lockwood Racing Commodore, 2m07.7931s
3. Mark Winterbottom/Steve Richards, #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon, 2m07.9231s
4. Will Davison/John McIntyre, #6 Tradingpost FPR Falcon, 2m07.9296s
5. Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff, #888 TeamVodafone Commodore, 2m07.9663s
6. Shane van Gisbergen/Luke Youlden, #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon, 2m08.0799s
7. Tim Slade/Andrew Thompson, #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon, 2m08.0912s
8. Garth Tander/Nick Percat, #2 Holden Racing Team Commodore, 2m08.1045s
9. Steve Owen/Paul Morris, #49 VIP Petfoods Racing Falcon, 2m08.1386s
10. David Reynolds/Dean Canto, #52 The Bottle-O Racing Falcon, 2m08.2312s
11. Jonathon Webb/Scott McLaughlin, #19 Tekno Autosports Commodore, 2m08.3040s
12. Jason Bright/Andrew Jones, #8 Team BOC Commodore, 2m08.3571s
13. Rick Kelly/David Russell, #15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Commodore, 2m08.3925s
14. James Courtney/Cam McConville, #22 Holden Racing Team Commodore, 2m08.4692s
15. Lee Holdsworth/Craig Baird, #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon, 2m08.5379s
16. Michael Caruso/Greg Ritter, #34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Commodore, 2m08.5409s
17. James Moffat/Alex Davison, #17 Team Norton DJR Falcon, 2m08.5849s
18. Steven Johnson/Allan Simonsen, #18 Jim Beam Racing Falcon, 2m08.6011s
19. Todd Kelly/Tim Blanchard, #7 Jack Daniel’s Racing Commodore, 2m08.8235s
20. Michael Patrizi/Jonny Reid, #91 Tekno Autosports Commodore, 2m08.8240s
21. Dean Fiore/Matt Halliday, #12 Jim Beam Racing Falcon, 2m08.8253s
22. David Wall/Chris Pither, #21 Wilson Security Racing Commodore, 2m08.9091s
23. Greg Murphy/Owen Kelly, #51 Pepsi Max Crew Commodore, 2m08.9327s
24. Tony D’Alberto/Dale Wood, #3 Team HIFLEX Falcon, 2m08.9341s
25. Russell Ingall/Christian Klien, #66 Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore, 2m08.9822s
26. Jack Perkins/Alex Premat, #33 Fujitsu Racing GRM Commodore, 2m09.1725s
27. Taz Douglas/Scott Pye, #30 Team iSelect Commodore, 2m09.2376s
28. Karl Reindler/Daniel Gaunt, #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Commodore, 2m09.3767s
29. Cameron Waters/Jesse Dixon, #23 Shannons carsales.com.au Commodore, 2m10.4865s