Winterbottom beats Lowndes to Race 4 pole

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom scored his first Armor All Pole Award of the season by edging out Craig Lowndes in a tense qualifying session at Symmons Plains.

Each driver had two sets of green tyres to use in the 15 minutes, ensuring the session was split into two distinct halves.

Lowndes was fastest after the first run with a 51.17s ahead of Shane van Gisbergen, Will Davison and Winterbottom.

Lowndes appeared set to go faster still on his second set before a lock-up and off at Turn 6 left him vulnerable to those behind.

Winterbottom, who had an off of his own at Turn 2, recovered to shoot to the top with a 51.15s just seconds before the chequered flag.

“We’ve had a great car all weekend, but I lost a little bit of rear grip,” admitted the reigning champion.

“(It was crazy with) all those cars towing and I was off the track… but I’ve got $1,000 so I don’t care.

“It was an awesome session and I’m so proud of the team. I can’t wait for the race.”

Lowndes and Van Gisbergen ended up second and third respectively despite both failing to improve on their second runs.

“It was more of a lock-up than I expected,” said Lowndes of his off.

“I caught the front-left going into Turn 6 and to release it I had to run wide.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get that run in because I think we had a car that was good enough for pole.”

Lee Holdsworth was the biggest late improver, jumping from 19th to fourth.

Team 18 had elected to scrub its second set of softs early in the session in what appeared an inspired move.

“I’m over the moon, this is genuine pace,” smiled Holdsworth.

“We’re moving forward every session. It’s unbelievable because we didn’t expect to make such a huge jump from where we were at the grand prix.”

Davison, Rick Kelly, Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin each relied on the times from their first set of tyres to fill fifth through eighth.

Whincup suffered a lock-up early in his first run, while an attempt to drop back into the pack and benefit from a tow off of Michael Caruso’s Nissan failed to pay dividends in the dying stages.

Jason Bright secured ninth despite being one of several forced to park at Turn 4 late in the going to avoid a spinning Nick Percat.

Ford runners Fabian Coulthard, Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters and Scott Pye filled 10th through 13th, with Waters abandoning his second run after a large lock-up.

It was a tough session for the Holden Racing Team as its drivers Garth Tander and James Courtney struggled to 14th and 17th respectively.

The 120km Race 4 of the championship will get underway from 1645 local time.

Result: V8 Supercars Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint Race 4 Qualifying

1 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 51.1530*S
2 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 51.1718 S 00.0188
3 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 51.1877 S 00.0347
4 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 51.2700 S 00.1170
5 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 51.2847 S 00.1317
6 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 51.3823 S 00.2293
7 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 51.4094 S 00.2564
8 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 51.4195 S 00.2665
9 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 51.4263 S 00.2733
10 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 51.4271 S 00.2741
11 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 51.4488 S 00.2958
12 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 51.4706 S 00.3176
13 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 51.4763 S 00.3233
14 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 51.4915 S 00.3385
15 Super Black Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 51.5050 S 00.3520
16 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 51.5842 S 00.4312
17 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 51.5918 S 00.4388
18 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 51.5936 S 00.4406
19 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 51.6139 S 00.4609
20 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 51.6649 S 00.5119
21 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 51.6739 S 00.5209
22 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 51.7735 S 00.6205
23 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 51.7852 S 00.6322
24 ARBO/Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 51.8222 S 00.6692
25 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 51.8572 S 00.7042
26 ABRO/Repair Management Aust Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 51.8756 S 00.7226

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