Michael Caruso has scored a maiden V8 Supercars pole position for himself and Japanese manufacturer Nissan ahead of Friday morning’s opening heat at Albert Park.
The 30-year-old continued his strong practice form to end the 30 minute qualifying 0.2s clear of Shane van Gisbergen’s Holden.
The leading contenders completed just two flying laps during the session, with Caruso sitting second to Van Gisbergen after the first tyre runs.
The Nissan was able to improve by 0.3s to 1:55.83s on its second run, while the Kiwi had no return answer.
“This is my very first pole position and everyone is pretty happy and very proud,” said Caruso.
“It’s something we need to enjoy for the moment and then concentrate on the racing which starts tomorrow.
“To be honest, we have had to work on the package in the past 12 months to get to this point.
“It’s a credit to everyone on the engineering group and we work hard together as a four-car team.
“It is also nice to have your boss (Todd Kelly), who I also race against, be the first person to come over and congratulate you.”
Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup will share the second row, with Todd Kelly, Craig Lowndes, Fabian Coulthard, James Moffat, Jason Bright and Garth Tander completing the top 10.
Swede Robert Dahlgren was a competitive 11th in the second Volvo, less than 0.6s from Caruso’s pole time.
That put both Volvos ahead of the first Ford (Chaz Mostert in 12th) and the first Mercedes (Will Davison in 13th).
Davison’s team-mate Lee Holdsworth will start last after a slap of the Turn 9 exit wall ended his session early.
The V8 Supercars will tackle two races on Friday over 10 and 12 laps respectively.
See below for the full qualifying result
|1||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:55.8313|
|2||Team TEKNO VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.0275|
|3||Valvoline Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:56.0654|
|4||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.1071|
|5||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:56.2262|
|6||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.2480|
|7||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.2770|
|8||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||1:56.3234|
|9||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.3351|
|10||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.3680|
|11||Valvoline Racing GRM||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo S60||1:56.3880|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.4169|
|13||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:56.5017|
|14||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:56.5255|
|15||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.5817|
|16||Walkinshaw Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.5847|
|17||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.5905|
|18||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.6242|
|19||Wilson Security Racing||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.6700|
|20||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.6710|
|21||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.7548|
|22||Team ADVAM / GB||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.7654|
|23||Repair Management Aust Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.8205|
|24||Jeld-wen||Jack Perkins||Ford Falcon FG||1:56.8317|
|25||Erebus Motorsport V8||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:56.9268|