James Courtney has scored pole position for the final race of the V8 Supercars season at the Sydney 500.
The Holden star narrowly qualified fastest on Sunday with a lap of one minute 28.0667sec – just 0.0187secs ahead of fellow Commodore driver Shane van Gisbergen.
“That’s awesome,” said Courtney, whose championship tilt ended after a freak pit-lane accident at Sydney Motorsport Park in August.
“We’ve been pretty strong at street circuits all year. And I love this place, I’m a western Sydney boy.”
Holden’s Jamie Whincup and Ford’s champion-elect Mark Winterbottom will start the year-ending race from the second row.
Winterbottom wrapped up the championship on Saturday, beating veteran Craig Lowndes to claim his first title after a decade of attempts.
“I’ve stopped crying … and I’m ready to race these guys,” said the man known as `Frosty’.
Lowndes had a shocker on Saturday with a crash in qualifying, and then managed only 15th and seventh in the two sprints.
He qualified just 13th fastest for Sunday’s feature.
While the drivers’ trophy has been decided, the teams’ championship is still up for grabs.
Just 16 points separate Winterbottom’s Prodrive Racing Australia and Lowndes’ Red Bull Racing Australia.
The winner will get the No.1 garage in pit lane next season.
Sunday’s 74-lap race starts at 3.45pm (AEDT).
TOP 10 GRID POSITIONS
1. James Courtney (Holden)
2. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden)
3. Jamie Whincup (Holden)
4. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)
5. Rick Kelly (Nissan)
6. David Reynolds (Ford)
7. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)
8. Tim Slade (Holden)
9. Michael Caruso (Nissan)
10. David Wall (Volvo)*
*Subject to an investigation