Lowndes takes pole for first race of 2011

Craig Lowndes will start from pole for Race 1 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship in Abu Dhabi

Craig Lowndes will start from pole for Race 1 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship in Abu Dhabi

TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes has taken pole position at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Lowndes scorched the circuit in a 1m57.229s, fractionally slower than last night’s evening practice session, but enough to oust the field for the first race of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship.

It is Lowndes’s first pole in two seasons.

Lowndes’ team-mate Jamie Whincup will line-up alongside him on the front-row.

IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison trumped all of his Stone Brothers Racing team-mates, taking third place on the grid. It is his best qualifying effort since his pole position at Hidden Valley last year.

Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom took fourth place after holding the top spot before Lowndes, Whincup and Davison set their fast times.

Rounding out the top 10 is Paul Dumbrell (The Bottle-O Racing), yesterday’s fast man Tim Slade (Lucky 7 Racing), Jason Bright (Team BOC), Steve Johnson (Jim Beam Racing), Lee Holdsworth (Fujitsu Racing) and Jonathoin Webb (Mother Racing).

Struggling for form is reigning V8 champ James Courtney, who will begin his title defence from 20th.

Fabian Coulthard was the best of the Walkingshaw Racing entries, taking 11th.

Fair Dinkum Sheds driver Karl Reindler will start from 20th despite only completing six laps when the engine died in his Commodore VE.

Also in the wars was Warren Luff (Gulf Western Oils Racing) who hit the wall.

The first race of the season kicks off at 6.20pm local time for the twilight race.

Pos # Driver Time
1 888 Craig Lowndes 1:57.2290*
2 88 Jamie Whincup 1:57.4600
3 4 Alex Davison 1:57.5290
4 5 Mark Winterbottom 1:57.6190
5 55 Paul Dumbrell 1:57.6280
6 47 Tim Slade 1:57.7390
7 8 Jason Bright 1:57.7790
8 17 Steven Johnson 1:57.7830
9 33 Lee Holdsworth 1:57.8130
10 19 Jonathon Webb 1:57.9550
11 61 Fabian Coulthard 1:57.9600
12 6 Will Davison 1:57.9640
13 49 Steve Owen 1:57.9820
14 2 Garth Tander 1:57.9860
15 9 Shane Van Gisbergen 1:58.0110
16 3 Tony D’Alberto 1:58.0710
17 7 Todd Kelly 1:58.2050
18 34 Michael Caruso 1:58.3120
19 14 Jason Bargwanna 1:58.3160
20 1 James Courtney 1:58.3810
21 39 Russell Ingall 1:58.4540
22 21 Karl Reindler 1:58.4630
23 16 David Reynolds 1:58.4800
24 30 Warren Luff 1:58.5780
25 15 Rick Kelly 1:58.6070
26 12 Dean Fiore 1:58.9260
27 11 Greg Murphy 1:59.0560
28 18 James Moffat 1:59.1080
Pos # Driver Time

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