Jamie Whincup takes provisional Sydney pole
Jamie Whincup has taken provisional pole for Race 25 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on the streets of Homebush.
The TeamVodafone driver set the fastest time of 1:29.0s after the chequered flag had fallen, having earlier looked a chance to miss the top 10 shootout.
Whincup sat in 26th position when Jason Bright caused a red flag with seven of the 20 minutes completed – the Trading Post Commodore spewing oil and stopping on the circuit after Bright appeared to damage the car across the Turn 6/7 chicane.
While Lee Holdsworth’s early time remained the benchmark, Whincup made mistakes at Turn 8 on two consecutive laps, before going second fastest to Shane van Gisbergen (SP Tools Racing) with just four seconds left.
Whincup then completed a final flying lap to steal the top spot from van Gisbergen, while Russell Ingall (Supercheap Auto Racing), Tim Slade (Wilson Security Racing) and Todd Kelly (Jack Daniels Racing) all put in impressive top five performances.
The Fujitsu Racing Commodores of Michael Caruso and Holdsworth six and seventh respectively, despite the latter making minor contact with the concrete wall at Turn 11 in the closing stages.
Rounding out the top 10 were Ford trio Mark Winterbottom (Orrcon Steel Ford Performance Racing), James Courtney (Jim Beam Racing) and Alex Davison (IWRIN Racing).
Championship leader Courtney avoided disaster by moving from 18th to third inside the last three minutes, before hanging on for ninth.
The reigning Sydney Telstra 500 winner was not able to improve on his final lap after running wide at Turn 8.
Jonathan Webb will start 21st after damaging his Mother Falcon against the Turn 8 tyre barrier, while Race 24 pole sitter Paul Dumbrell (The Bottle-O Racing) also made contact with the track’s unforgiving walls – resigning him to last.
Walkinshaw Performance also had a difficult session, with all nine of its chasis outside the top 10.
Garth Tander, who took out the opening leg of the Sydney Telstra 500 in 2009, will start 22nd in his Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore.
The top 10 shootout is scheduled to take place at 11:35 local time, ahead of the 250km Race 25 at 14:35.