Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom have set the stage for a weekend of Ford domination at the Sandown 500.
In high winds and with the threat of rain hovering, the pair secured the front row of the grid for their Prodrive Racing team in Saturday afternoon’s multi-layered qualifying process.
The series leaders will hand over the Falcons with ominous pace to co-drivers for a 20-lap qualifying race on Saturday afternoon.
They’ll then grab the keys back for a race among regular season drivers to set a grid for Sunday’s 500 kilometre classic.
Mostert’s time of 1:08.7165 was the quickest of the weekend so far but fell narrowly short of Jamie Whincup’s qualifying record set last year.
Whincup placed third, meaning the No.1 car will start on the second row of the grid with Paul Dumbrell inside, alongside Frenchman Sebasten Bourdais after Lee Holdsworth took the No.18 car to fourth place.
Mostert’s impressive showing came as no surprise.
The 23-year-old is the championship’s form driver with three race wins in five starts, allowing him to surge to within 200 points of his series-leading team-mate Winterbottom.
Mostert is also the sport’s best qualifier, with an extraordinary 10 pole positions already from just 23 races this season.
Craig Lowndes and co-driver Steven Richards have it all to do in the qualifying races after Lowndes took his Commodore to 16th place.