Coulthard on provisional Bathurst pole

Fabian Coulthard ended up on top of a rain-affected qualifying session at Mount Panorama, while some big names missed out on a spot in the Shootout.

Banker laps proved key, with light rain making it impossible to improve after the 15-minute mark.

To that point, it was Coulthard who was on top of the times, having gone fastest with a 2m06.183s right before the rain arrived.

While significantly slower than the fastest times seen in practice over the last two days, it was enough to secure provisional pole position ahead of this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout.

“The rain was inevitable, it was going to come at some point,” said Coulthard. “So you had to sneak out there and get a lap done and be good enough to be in the 10.”

Shane van Gisbergen was second fastest, ahead of Walkinshaw Racing’s Tim Slade and Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup, making it an all-Holden top four.

Scott Pye was the first of the Fords in fifth, ahead of Jason Bright and Scott McLaughlin, who led the way for Volvo.

David Reynolds was form team Prodrive’s only entry to make the Top 10, while Lee Holdsworth and Nissan’s James Moffat also booked Shootout spots.

The mixed weather conditions did catch some big names out, including pre-race favourite Mark Winterbottom. He and Steve Owen will start from P14 tomorrow, Winterbottom estimated he missed the window for a second run in the dry by five seconds.

“What do you do? The weather was coming,” he said.

“We rolled and the first set was pretty bad on that first lap, but I think I was still P4. We chose to come in and put another set of tyres on, and I probably missed the window by about five seconds.

“I was on for a five, and the rain comes down, and you ether stick it in the fence or count your losses.”

Craig Lowndes was another big name to miss the cut, and will start The Great Race from P15.

“We knew there would be potential for some showers coming through,” Lowndes said.

“I buggered up the first lap, we got out of it, tried a second lap. I think looking at the data, we had a good half a lap. The second half I really made a few little mistakes, which of course you only have to make some small mistakes around here.”

The Holden Racing Team had a tough session as well, missing out on the Shootout with both cars. Jack Perkins and Russell Ingall will start 17th, while Garth Tander and Warren Luff will be back in P22.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Bathurst
Track Mount Panorama Circuit
Drivers Fabian Coulthard
Article type Qualifying report