Lowndes takes pole for first race of 2011
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.
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