Lowndes Takes Pukekohe Pole

Former triple series champion Craig Lowndes has taken pole position for this weekend's V8 Supercar racing at Pukekohe in New Zealand

Lowndes was fifth fastest in qualifying but went fastest in the shootout to edge out reigning series champion Marcos Ambrose by just over six hundredths of a second with a time of 55.7367 seconds, making it an all-Ford front row.

On the second row will be a pair of locals, with Steven Richards exactly one tenth of a second faster than the driver who has dominated racing at Pukekohe in V8 Supercar, Greg Murphy, both in Holdens.

Next should have been Garth Tander, but he along with Greg Ritter and Matthew White will be starting at the rear of the 32-car field after their times were excluded. Instead, Russell Ingall rounds out the top five.

Mark Skaife will start from seventh, two places ahead of Jason Bright as he comes to grips with his Ford, while round one pole setter Rick Kelly starts from 17th position, three places ahead of his brother Todd.

A 100km race will be held later today followed by a pair of 140km races on Sunday.

The PlaceMakers V8 International Qualifying Results, Pukekohe Park Raceway:

Pos  Driver              Car
 1.  Craig Lowndes       Ford Falcon BA
 2.  Marcos Ambrose      Ford Falcon BA
 3.  Steven Richards     Holden Commodore VY
 4.  Greg Murphy         Holden Commodore VZ
 5.  Russell Ingall      Ford Falcon BA
 6.  Paul Dumbrell       Holden Commodore VY
 7.  Mark Skaife         Holden Commodore VZ
 8.  Jason Richards      Holden Commodore VZ
 9.  Jason Bright        Ford Falcon BA
10.  Paul Morris         Holden Commodore VZ
11.  Steve Ellery        Ford Falcon BA
12.  Cameron McConville  Holden Commodore VZ
13.  Jamie Whincup       Holden Commodore VZ
14.  Paul Radisich       Holden Commodore VZ
15.  Jason Bargwanna     Ford Falcon BA
16.  Max Wilson          Holden Commodore VZ
17.  Rick Kelly          Holden Commodore VZ
18.  John Bowe           Ford Falcon BA
19.  David Besnard       Ford Falcon BA
20.  Todd Kelly          Holden Commodore VZ
21.  Glenn Seton         Ford Falcon BA
22.  Brad Jones          Ford Falcon BA
23.  Steven Johnson      Ford Falcon BA
24.  Paul Weel           Holden Commodore VZ
25.  Mark Winterbottom   Ford Falcon BA
26.  Simon Wills         Holden Commodore VZ
27.  Anthony Tratt       Holden Commodore VY
28.  Craig Baird         Ford Falcon BA
29.  Andrew Jones        Holden Commodore VZ
30.  Greg Ritter         Ford Falcon BA
31.  Garth Tander        Holden Commodore VZ
32.  Matthew White       Ford Falcon BA

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