Winterbottom beats Lowndes to Race 4 pole
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|