Jamie Whincup has blitzed today’s back-to-back qualifying sessions at the SKYCITY Triple Crown, and will start from first on the grid for both of today’s 100km races.
Whincup has had a lean run these past few events, but in today’s qualifying, not only has he shown he will not back down in the Championship fight – but achieved ARMOR ALL Pole Position twice at a circuit where he has never started from first on the grid.
“It’s pretty hot out there – really slippery… but that’s the nature of Darwin, that’s what it’s all about,” Whincup said.
“Full credit to the guys, they backed themselves in a setup that was pretty radical.”
It will be an all Red Bull front row for the first of the day’s races, with Volvo foe Scott McLaughlin alongside him, having been just 0.017sec behind Whincup’s 1min10.136 pole lap.
Teammate Craig Lowndes is directly behind in third, with Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen in fourth.
Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander is fifth, with Championship leader Mark Winterbottom, Erebus’ Lee Holdsworth, BJR pair Jason Bright and Fabian Coulthard, and James Courtney completing the top 10.
James Moffat was the first Nissan in 12th.
Whincup again could not be toppled in the second run, with a 1min09.8711, though it’s his teammate and birthday boy Lowndes alongside him on the front row. The #888 driver was only 0.09sec off the pole time, and both were the only drivers to crack the ‘09’ bracket.
Coulthard improved on his earlier time for third, with Winterbottom, McLaughlin, Tander, Courtney, van Gisbergen, Bright and Dale Wood completing the top 10.
Stay tuned for Race 17, which begins at 2.20pm local time.