Surely the Bathurst 1000 starting line-up was always destined to look like this.
Sunday’s 1000km race will start with a front-row that replicates the story of the season so far with a Ford Performance Racing driver lining up in pole position alongside a TeamVodafone Holden.
Nothing has separated either outfit in 2012, with the teams’ four main drivers the only ones to have tasted victory this year, so it’s fitting they’ll be going head-to-head into the first turn of V8 Supercars’ biggest day.
FPR’s Will Davison is the man in P1 after a thrilling shootout at Mount Panorama on Saturday, securing his first pole position in the 50th year of touring car racing at Bathurst by the narrowest of margins from championship rival Jamie Whincup.
Davison clocked a two minutes and 08.0693 seconds lap in the shootout with Whincup recording a 2:08.1008 to just miss out on pole position.
Whincup, the three-time Bathurst champion and current championship leader, said the tightness of the shootout hinted at a special race on Sunday.
“I think everyone can feel how massive this event is, being the 50th year,” he said.
“There’s going to be a lot of desperation out there but all the key ingredients are absolutely right.
“Everything usually does happen here at Bathurst, it’s just such a hard race to win so we’ve just got to go with the punches.”
Davison, a winner at Mount Panorama in 2009, said he was only too aware his job is far from done.
“Bathurst shootout, it doesn’t mean anything for tomorrow,” he said.
“But, you’d be kidding if you said it wasn’t a thing you all wanted to achieve, a pole position here, it’s a pretty cool moment.”
Fords lock out the second row of the grid with young New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen securing third spot while Whincup’s main championship rival Mark Winterbottom will start behind him in fourth.
“It’s a bit of a dream really, I never thought I’d be top three in qualifying at Bathurst,” van Gisbergen said.
“Long day tomorrow, we’ll see where we are.”
Elsewhere in the top 10, defending champion Garth Tander will start the race from sixth position while race favourite Craig Lowndes is back in ninth.
Sunday’s 161-lap race begins at 10.35am AEDT.