All-time champ Jamie Whincup has silenced his challengers in style, earning the first two ARMOR ALL Positions of 2015.
Whincup smashed the lap record in the first of two back to back qualifying sessions at the Clipsal 500, and lowered it again in the second session, with a 1min20.0319 – 0.34sec fastest than Shane van Gisbergen’s record set last year.
The Red Bull racer did not feature in the top 10 in the shootout at the recent sydney.com SuperTest and was pleased to confirm his Holden Commodore has the speed at the Adelaide street track.
“I’m absolutely rapt with that,” Whincup said.
“At the test day we were unsure where our pace was, if the work we put in over the break … was enough.
“It’s very nice to come away with two poles. No Championship points – pay day is tomorrow – but good to know we’re very quick.”
His biggest challengers for pole in the back to back sessions came from kiwi competitors, with Fabian Coulthard in his Freightliner Holden second in the first 10-minute run and Scott McLaughlin in the Wilson Security Volvo in the second.
While the third kiwi in the field, former Clispal 500 winner van Gisbergen failed to crack the 10 in the first run, he improved for fifth in the second session, to start on the third row alongside David Reynolds.
For Race One, the top 10 is Whincup, Coulthard, McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, James Courtney, Michael Caruso, Lee Holdsworth, Craig Lowndes, Jason Bright and James Moffat.
For Race Two, the top 10 is Whincup, McLaughlin, Courtney, Coulthard, van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Lowndes, Tim Slade, Mostert and Mark Winterbottom.
It was a tough run for returning star Marcos Ambrose, who will start 24th in both races, and Tim Blanchard – beside him for both – after his LDM team hurriedly repaired his car for the second session after missing the first. The LDM Commodore had been suffering from an issue leaving Blanchard down 9km/h.
A final practice session follows tomorrow morning at 10.10am local time, with the two 125km races kick starting the Championship on the streets of Adelaide.