McLaughlin, Whincup share V8s poles

McLaughlin, Whincup share V8s poles

The three V8 Supercars title aspirants will start neck and neck in Saturday afternoon’s sprint races at Phillip Island.

Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom have qualified third to fifth for both 60km races.

In a qualifying quirk of fate, Jame Whincup and Scott McLaughlin will start from the front row of the grid both times.

Whincup claimed pole for race 31 with the first lap of the qualifying session.

The reigning champion was first out of the garages and his 1:31.0854 lap stood through the 10-minute session.

The four-time reigning series champion looked like he might not set a time during the second session after a high-speed visit to the gravel.

A quick garage tune-up released the No.1 car just in time for a sole flying lap, when he again flew to the top of the timing charts.

But the veteran was outdone by speedy Kiwi McLaughlin, who stormed home to claim pole by less than a 10th of a second.

The shared poles mean absent Ford man Chaz Mostert will win the award for the most poles in the 2015 season.

Mostert won 10 poles until breaking his leg at the Bathurst 1000 and can no longer be overtaken this year.

While his teammate Winterbottom set himself the goal of reducing drama by qualifying on the front row, he will be heartened by his fifth and fourth placings – and the weather.

Showers have stayed away from the coastal circuit so far today but Lowndes said that didn’t mean the weather was a non-factor.

“The wind is the one we’re keeping an eye on,” he said.

“This is one of the circuits where the wind direction makes a big difference.”

Lowndes would know.

No one has more wins around the MotoGP grand prix circuit than Lowndes, who will attempt to reduce the gap to Winterbottom in the afternoon’s races.

Winterbottom leads by 239 points to David Reynolds, with Lowndes a further point back.

Winners of Saturday’s 60km races will each bank 75 points.


Race 31 – 3:10pm

1. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

2. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

3. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

4. David Reynolds (Ford)

5. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

Race 32 – 4:55pm

1. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

2. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

3. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

4. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

5. David Reynolds (Ford)

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