Qualifying, Rd 6 - Sandown, Vic.
HOLDEN Commodore driver Rod 'Redline¹ Wilson, already defending a tenuous lead in the Poolrite V8 BRute Muster championship, scraped on to the top of the time sheets by three-tenths of a second during qualifying today for the final and deciding round at Melbourne's Sandown International Motor Raceway.
Less than one second separated the fastest six qualifiers in the field of 16 Ford Falcon XR8 and Holden Commodore SS utes entered for two six-lap races tomorrow and a third on Sunday.
Although fastest today, Wilson will start the first race from grid position eight, following the usual post-qualifying sdraw among drivers.
Pole was drawn by Holden's Gary 'Growler' Young. Immediately behind Wilson are his nearest championship rival, Damien 'Ice' White (Falcon), and Gary 'The Boss' MacDonald (Commodore), who is equal-third with Young in the pointscore.
"It's going to be desperate racing tomorrow. Damien and I couldn't be closer in times or track position and there's only six laps for one of us to fight through to the lead," Wilson said.
Previous Sandown winner Mick 'The Don' Donaher finished well down the qualifying order after gearbox problems in his Falcon and James 'Brocky' Brock heavily damaged his Commodore in a collision with a safety barrier.
1. Rod 'Redline¹ Wilson (Commodore SS) 1:29.03
2. Damien 'Ice¹ White (Falcon XR8) 1:29.35
3. Gary 'The Boss¹ MacDonald (Commodore SS) 1:29.46
4. Luke 'Cool Hand¹ Youlden (Falcon XR8) 1:29.85
5. Charlie 'Handlebars" Kovacs (Commodore) SS 1:29.91
6. Gary 'Growler' Young (Commodore SS) 1:29.99
CHAMPIONSHIP (after Qualifying): 644 Rod 'Redline' Wilson, 612 Damien 'Ice' White, 582 eq. Gary 'Growler' Young/Gary 'The Boss' MacDonald, 488 Ian 'Macca¹ McAlister, 444 Grant 'Mag Dog' Denyer.
LAST TIME AT SANDOWN (Rd 4): Pole - M. Donaher (Falcon) 1 min. 28.80 sec. Race 1 - M. Donaher. Race 2 - M. Donaher. Race 3 - M.Donaher. Lap record - M. Donaher, 1:29.24.
TIMETABLE: Saturday - 1.15 Race 1 (6 laps), 3.45 Race 2 (6 laps). Sunday - 12.35 Race 3 (6 laps).