Whincup claims Bathurst provisional pole

Four-time winner Jamie Whincup has claimed provisional pole for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000.

Holden’s Whincup failed to break his own Supercars lap record on Friday but still topped qualifying at Mount Panorama, clocking two minutes, 05.04 seconds.

He held out a fast-finishing Scott McLaughlin of Volvo, while Holden’s Tim Slade was third fastest ahead of Saturday’s top-10 shootout.

Whincup had been tipped to shatter his own lap record, set last year, after dominating practice at Mount Panorama but finished 0.14 of a second shy.

“The number doesn’t mean anything – it’s the position,” Whincup said.

“I now have to do a job at the shootout.”

The top-10 shootout will finalise the front of the grid.

On the day Ford Australia closed its factory doors for the last time, Chaz Mostert tried to give Blue Oval fans something to cheer about in his Falcon.

Returning to the mountain after his 2015 Bathurst campaign ended with a horrific qualifying crash, Ford’s Mostert topped the timesheets for most of the 40-minute session before being relegated to fourth fastest.

Defending series champion Mark Winterbottom of Ford was seventh quickest and series leader Shane van Gisbergen of Holden was sixth.

In a major shock, defending Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes finished 21st fastest – his worst Bathurst qualifying effort.

“I have struggled with the car all week,” six-time Bathurst champion Lowndes said.

“But I started outside the top 10 last year – you never know.”

Red flags came out during qualifying when Holden’s Shae Davies and later female driver Simona de Silvestro (Nissan) speared off The Chase and into the sand.

That relegated them to the back of the grid for Sunday’s Great Race.

The session began 10 minutes late due to a crash in the second-tier Dunlop Series qualifying.

Matthew Palmer remarkably emerged unscathed after his Ford hit the wall at McPhillamy Park and caught fire.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!