Ford’s Mostert brings up 10th V8s pole

Ford gun Chaz Mostert has racked up his 10th V8 Supercars pole position of the season after qualifying fastest for Saturday’s two races at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Mostert blasted the field to top the timesheets in sessions for both 16-lap sprints, setting a new lap record of 1min 28.9583secs in the process.

The feat brings him closer to six-time champion Jamie Whincup’s record of 13 pole positions set in 2013.

“Chaz is a pole master,” said Prodrive Racing Australia team boss Tim Edwards.

“I’m very happy.

“It’s been a common theme, but we’re not sitting back.”

PRA teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom will start alongside Mostert on the front row for race one, but will be back in eighth for the second.

Whincup, who is without a win in 14 races, showed some return to form with the third and second fastest times at the Eastern Creek track.

Fellow Red Bull Racing driver Craig Lowndes, who is just 256 points behind Winterbottom on the overall standings, fared a little worse and will start the two races from fifth and 12th.

Just three times in the last 13 races has the polesitter won at the circuit – Mark Skaife in 2007, Garth Tander in 2008 and Scott McLaughlin last year.

James Courtney was a notable absentee in qualifying, with the Holden Racing Team driver in hospital recovering from two broken ribs and a pneumothorax.

Courtney was injured in a freak pitline accident between practice sessions on Friday, when downdraft from a low-flying Navy helicopter blew metal hoarding into the 35-year-old’s chest.

He has been ruled out for the weekend, with Jack Perkins replacing him in the No.22 Commodore.

Perkins, making his HRT debut, qualified in 20th for both races.

Fellow HRT star Tander didn’t run in the first session after his car failed to start, and only managed the 16th quickest time in the second.

Saturday’s two races begin at 2.25pm (AEST) and 4.35pm.

TOP 10 QUALIFYING GRID RACE ONE:

1. Chaz Mostert (Ford)

2. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

3. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

4. David Reynolds (Ford)

5. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

6. Andre Heimgartner (Ford)

7. Jason Bright (Holden)

8. Rick Kelly (Nissan)

9. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

10. Scott Pye (Ford)

TOP 10 QUALIFYING GRID RACE TWO:

1. Chaz Mostert (Ford)

2. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

3. Fabian Coulthard (Holden)

4. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden)

5. David Reynolds (Ford)

6. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

7. Lee Holdsworth (Holden)

8. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

9. Andre Heimgartner (Ford)

10. Will Davison (Mercedes)

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