Red Bull is looking strong in Darwin.
Jamie Whincup's SKYCITY Triple Crown weekend has kicked off in a big way with the five-time series champion claiming back-to-back poles earlier today. He goes into Darwin fourth in the standings, over 200 points adrift of Mark Winterbottom. The weather was hot and the track was slick, which could spell trouble for overzealous drivers during the three races.
Whincup had never earned a pole at Hidden Valley Raceway before he doubled down earlier today. For the first race, it was young gun Scott McLaughlin who put the Volvo on the front row of the grid, coming just 17 hundredths short of the top spot. Scotty's in a Red Bull sandwich with Craig Lowndes third. Shane Van Gisbergen and Garth Tander rounded out the top five.
Points leader Mark Winterbottom clocked in sixth fastest, followed by Lee Holdsworth, the BJR duo of Jason Bright and Fabian Coulthard, and lastly, former series champion James Courtney.
The second race has an all Red Bull front row, with birthday boy Craig Lowndes nearly a full tenth off his fellow Red Bull driver. Fabian Coulthard and Mark Winterbottom hold down third and fourth on the grid, while Scott McLaughlin rounds out the top five. The rest of the top ten is made up of Garth Tander, James Courtney, Shane Van Gisbergen, Jason Bright and Dale Wood
The two races set to be run today will get underway shortly.