Whincup scores pole in tight qualifying

Thursday 17th March, 2016 - 5:29pm

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Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has scored pole position for the opening V8 Supercars heat at Albert Park in a tight qualifying session.

The Fords of Mark Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard and Chaz Mostert completed the top four, which were separated by just 0.088s.

Whincup’s 1:56.56s best came midway through the 30 minutes, with the time proving unbeatable in the closing stages.

“The cloud came in which should mean the track was quicker at the end,” shrugged Whincup after the session.

“(Engineer David) Cauchi was the man then. He made the big calls prior to qualy that got us the P1.”

Whincup rubbed the wall on the exit of Turn 10 during his final attempt to go quicker.

“If you’re not running a little bit wide here and there you’re not going hard enough,” he added.

Winterbottom was the most notable improver in the last tyre run, leaping ahead of Coulthard for second.

“I thought the track would cool down but it’d actually got hotter for the start of the session,” noted Winterbottom.

“We made a few changes for a cooler track but when it didn’t (get cooler) the car was really loose.

“For the last set (of tyres) we changed it back and it was really good until Turn 14 where we had a bit of a wobble and lost time.

“But I’m pretty happy. We’ve made progress and it’s nice to just be confident back in the car after a tough Adelaide.”

Shane van Gisbergen ended up fifth in the second Red Bull entry ahead of Jason Bright, Craig Lowndes, Michael Caruso, James Courtney and Scott Pye.

Will Davison joined the session 10 minutes in following repairs to his Tekno Holden after its Practice 2 crash.

The Darrell Lea backed entry will start Race 1 from 16th.

Result: V8 Supercars Qualifying, Albert Park

1
Red Bull Racing Australia
Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore VF
1:56.5634*
2
The Bottle-O Racing Team
Mark Winterbottom
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:56.58
00:00.02
3
DJR Team Penske
Fabian Coulthard
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:56.63
00:00.07
4
Supercheap Auto Racing
Chaz Mostert
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:56.65
00:00.09
5
Red Bull Racing Australia
Shane Van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore VF
01:56.71
00:00.15
6
Team BOC
Jason Bright
Holden Commodore VF
01:56.97
00:00.41
7
Team Vortex
Craig Lowndes
Holden Commodore VF
01:56.98
00:00.42
8
Nissan Motorsport
Michael Caruso
Nissan Altima
01:57.00
00:00.43
9
Holden Racing Team
James Courtney
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.01
00:00.45
10
DJR Team Penske
Scott Pye
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:57.12
00:00.56
11
Prodrive Racing Australia
Cameron Waters
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:57.14
00:00.58
12
Wilson Security Racing GRM
Scott McLaughlin
Volvo S60
01:57.15
00:00.59
13
Nissan Motorsport
Rick Kelly
Nissan Altima
01:57.22
00:00.66
14
Erebus Motorsport Penrite
David Reynolds
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.22
00:00.66
15
Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.30
00:00.74
16
Team Darrell Lea STIX
Will Davison
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.50
00:00.94
17
Superblack Racing
Chris Pither
Ford Falcon FG/X
01:57.53
00:00.97
18
Freightliner Racing
Tim Slade
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.57
00:01.01
19
carsales Racing
Todd Kelly
Nissan Altima
01:57.67
00:01.11
20
Preston Hire Racing
Lee Holdsworth
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.70
00:01.14
21
LD Motorsports
Andre Heimgartner
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.83
00:01.27
22
LD Motorsports
Nick Percat
Holden Commodore VF
01:57.84
00:01.28
23
GB Galvanizing Racing
Dale Wood
Nissan Altima
01:57.98
00:01.42
24
Wilson Security Racing GRM
James Moffat
Volvo S60
01:57.99
00:01.42
25
Team Cooldrive
Tim Blanchard
Holden Commodore VF
01:58.08
00:01.52
26
Plus Fitness Racing
Aaren Russell
Holden Commodore VF
01:59.29
00:02.73

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