Whincup seals pole for first qualifying race at non-championship Albert Park weekend
|Thursday, March 15th 2012, 10:00 GMT|
Reigning V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup sealed pole position for tomorrow's first qualifying race as part of the Australian Grand prix support races at Albert Park.
The 29-year-old smashed the previous lap record with a 1m55.0805s, putting him almost half a second clear of the field.
"We're in good shape, I didn't want to burn up too many tyres," Whincup said following the session. "We have some pretty important people coming tomorrow, so we want to put on a good show."
Mark Winterbottom (FPR Ford) and Shane van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Ford) complete the front three on the grid for tomorrow's qualifying race - the first of three such races before a 'final' on Sunday, for which a (AUS) $500,000 prize fund has been put up.
The new format also involves a knock-out system in which the last three cars on each lap will be black-flagged until the field is down to 10 cars - at which point they will have five laps to settle the final order.
Each driver will then be awarded points for their finishing position, with the total over the three qualifying races used to determine the grid for the Sunday final.
Whincup's Triple 8 team-mate Craig Lowndes will start tomorrow's opening qualifying race from fifth.
Garth Tander (HRT Holden), Tony D'Alberto (D'Alberto Ford) and David Reynolds (Rod Nash/FPR Ford) completed the top eight.
Qualifying Results: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden 1m55.0805s 2. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 1m55.5648s + 0.4843s 3. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford 1m55.6802s + 0.5997s 4. Will Davison FPR Ford 1m55.7447s + 0.6642s 5. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden 1m55.9304s + 0.8499s 6. Garth Tander HRT Holden 1m56.2841s + 1.2036s 7. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford 1m56.3597s + 1.2792s 8. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 1m56.3928s + 1.3123s 9. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden 1m56.4374s + 1.3569s 10. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden 1m56.5473s + 1.4668s 11. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford 1m56.6163s + 1.5358s 12. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden 1m56.7128s + 1.6323s 13. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford 1m56.7776s + 1.6971s 14. Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden 1m56.8335s + 1.7530s 15. Greg Murphy Kelly Holden 1m56.8517s + 1.7712s 16. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden 1m56.8732s + 1.7927s 17. James Courtney HRT Holden 1m56.8746s + 1.7941s 18. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw Holden 1m56.9799s + 1.8994s 19. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford 1m57.1641s + 2.0836s 20. Steve Owen Dick Johnson Ford 1m57.1884s + 2.1079s 21. Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden 1m57.2053s + 2.1248s 22. Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden 1m57.2456s + 2.1651s 23. Karl Reindler Kelly Holden 1m57.2615s + 2.1810s 24. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden 1m57.3541s + 2.2736s 25. Dean Fiore Triple F Ford 1m57.4308s + 2.3503s 26. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford 1m57.4325s + 2.3520s 27. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden 1m57.6749s + 2.5944s 28. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden 1m58.2898s + 3.2093s