Paul Dumbrell will start the first of two Saturday sprint races at Sandown from pole position after Jamie Whincup proved too strong for his opposition in qualifying.
Fresh from topping the final practice session earlier in the morning, Whincup and his Red Bull Racing Australia outfit put in a typically methodical qualifying performance.
Jumping into the 1:08s on just his second flying lap, Whincup spent an extended spell in pitlane before returning for the frantic final minutes.
Having been bumped from the head of the time sheets by Will Davison with seven minutes remaining, Whincup returned to the top with just over 60 seconds left on the clock.
Whincup’s time of 1:08.62s proved 0.05s faster than the lap record he had reset in Practice 4, and came despite having to take a shallow line out of the final corner to avoid the slow Team BOC Holden of Jason Bright.
A late time from Chaz Mostert proved just 0.09s shy in second, putting the Dick Johnson Racing Ford on the front-row in the hands of Dale Wood later this afternoon.
Scott McLaughlin, Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, Will Davison, David Reynolds, James Courtney, Tim Slade and Jason Bright completed the top 10.
Davison had failed to improve on his final set of tyres, and was left frustrated by slow traffic on his very final attempt.
By contrast, eighth was the result of a late rescue effort for Courtney, who sat outside the top 15 with just three minutes remaining.
Man-of-the-match in qualifying was arguably Todd Kelly, who proved just 0.5s adrift of Whincup on his way to 15th in a Nissan Altima that is significantly down on straightline speed.
Two 60km races this afternoon will set the grid for the Sandown 500. The first will be tackled by the co-drivers and set the grid for the second, where the primary drivers will battle it out for Sunday’s pole position.
See below for the full qualifying result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.62|
|2||Wilson Security Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||01:08.71||00:00.09|
|3||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.83||00:00.21|
|4||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.85||00:00.23|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.86||00:00.24|
|6||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||01:08.89||00:00.27|
|7||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||01:08.90||00:00.28|
|8||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.95||00:00.32|
|9||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||01:08.96||00:00.34|
|10||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||01:08.97||00:00.35|
|11||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||01:08.97||00:00.35|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||01:08.99||00:00.37|
|13||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.05||00:00.43|
|14||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.06||00:00.44|
|15||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||01:09.16||00:00.54|
|16||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.20||00:00.58|
|17||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.22||00:00.60|
|18||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.25||00:00.63|
|19||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.27||00:00.65|
|20||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||01:09.28||00:00.66|
|21||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.33||00:00.71|
|22||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.34||00:00.72|
|23||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||01:09.34||00:00.72|
|24||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||01:09.35||00:00.73|
|25||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||01:09.36||00:00.74|
|26||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||01:09.40||00:00.78|
|27||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||01:09.46||00:00.84|
|28||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||01:09.49||00:00.87|