After topping the times in Thursday practice and Friday qualifying, Jamie Whincup emerged quickest in the top 10 shootout to secure a pole position starting spot for tomorrow’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
While the lap times fell short of the anticipated sub 2m05s mark, the top 10 shootout was not without drama. Whincup was lucky to complete his pole-winning after his Red Bull Racing Australia Commodore shaved the wall coming out of Forrest’s Elbow.
Other than that, it was a safe and smooth performance that eclipsed next-best Scott McLaughlin by less than a tenth of a second.
“The car felt good as I turned into turn one, and I thought ‘we’re on here’,” Whincup said. “I talked myself into having a crack and the car did everything I needed it to.
“There’s a myth going round that you can’t win this race from pole but we’ll try to turn the tide against that tomorrow. It’s just nice to be starting from the front row as sometimes there can be a bit of drama at turns one and two.”
Scott McLaughlin and David Wall will start alongside the Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Commodore after a lap which, McLaughlin said, ‘just came up a bit short’.
“But I feel like we’ve got a good car,” he said, “So we’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow. The car is strong, and Dave’s doing a great job – I think it’s going to be a ripper race.”
Chaz Mostert might have pipped the Volvo for a front-row start but for a minor error near the end of the lap as the Supercheap Auto Falcon ran wide out of the Chase.
But a second-row start is a major improvement on last year’s disastrous qualifying crash that left Mostert hospitalised with serious leg injuries.
“I had a great lap; to have the track to yourself like that is something you dream about as a kid. I gave it everything; I had a little wobble down in the Chase, but I’m really happy with P3 and we really do have a genuinely fast race car.”
2016 Bathurst 1000 top 10 qualifying
1 Jamie Whincup (Holden Commodore) 2m05.4263s
2 Scott McLaughlin (Volvo S60) 2m05.4915s
3 Chaz Mostert (Ford Falcon) 2m05.5268s
4 Fabian Coulthard (Holden Commodore) 2m05.6726s
5 Tim Slade (Holden Commodore) 2m05.0868s
6 Michael Caruso (Nissan Altima) 2m05.9167s
7 Shane van Gisbergen (Holden Commodore) 2m06.255s
8 Garth Tander (Holden Commodore) 2m06.5538s
9 Scott Pye (Ford Falcon) 2m06.5557s
10 Mark Winterbottom (Ford Falcon) 2m08.2615s