Jamie Whincup has admitted that he didn’t deserve a spot in the second part of Armor All Qualifying after battling grip issues to secure 17th on the grid for Race 9.
Forced to go through the first part of qualifying after missing out on the top 10 in Friday practice, Whincup could only manage seventh fastest in Q1 that saw the top four progress to the next part of qualifying.
In the end Whincup was more than two seconds shy of pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin, who was a staggering 0.6s faster than his team-mate Fabian Coulthard with whom he will share the front row.
Whincup, who showed improvement in this morning’s Practice 3, felt he extracted the most from his car before revealing that he couldn’t remember the last time he had a car with so little grip.
“We maximised the car, you know, we don’t deserve to be in Q2,” said Whincup.
“(I), can’t remember a car with so little grip than that; I have to go back 15 years I reckon.
“We’re really struggling this weekend, we struggled at the test day, really struggling here this weekend. No performance, so what do you do, just gotta keep working.
“Hey I knew I didn’t have the grip. Was just praying to scrape through — wasn’t to be. We don’t deserve to be in Q2, car’s very, very slow.
“We come here slow, we come here literally P24, so we’ve moved up five spots. You’ve got to roll out of the truck fast to be quick around here.”
Whincup’s team-mate Shane van Gisbergen has fared better and will start from ninth on the grid.
Race 9 is scheduled to begin at 1550 local time/AEST.