Courtney, Kelly share Darwin poles

James Courtney and Rick Kelly will each start one of this afternoon’s V8 Supercars races from pole position, following two frantic qualifying sessions.

In the first 10-minute session, Courtney walked away with his second pole position of the season after emerging on top from a frantic final few moments.

Courtney was quick throughout the session, dropping into the 1m07s bracket before anyone else early in the session, and then backing it up with a 1m07.119s on the second of his decisive final two laps at the very end.

The Holden Racing Team driver displaced Chaz Mostert from pole, also bringing the Prodrive youngster’s impressive run of pole positions to an end.

“I missed a couple of braking markers on my first lap, and that’s where the time was lost,” Mostert explained after missing out on a fifth consecutive pole.

Jamie Whincup bounced back from a quiet Friday to nab third for Triple Eight, while Fabian Coulthard locked out the second row.

Shane van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom were next, with Rick Kelly and James Moffat doing well for Nissan to shut out the fourth row of the grid.

Craig Lowndes was just ninth, Scott McLaughlin was the best Volvo in 14th, while Will Davison struggled to 21st.

Kelly goes fast on softs

In the second session, run exclusively on the softer Dunlops, Kelly brought a pole-less streak that stretches back to Sandown 2011 to an end.

The Nissan driver popped up on top of the time sheets with a 1m06.292s on his only flying lap of the session, a time which gives him both the official qualifying lap record, and makes him overall the fastest man ever around Hidden Valley in a V8 Supercars.

“I tell you what, we didn’t expect pole,” he said. “[I’m] really excited about that. We had to sort of guess what grip was going to be on offer, and the car’s been great.”

Coulthard was second fastest on the soft tyres, falling 0.012s short of Kelly after running a two-lap final stint rather than just one, with Mostert grabbing third.

Van Gisbergen and Lowndes were fourth and fifth, while Michael Caruso capped off a good session for Nissan with sixth.

Race 13 pole-sitter was seventh, while McLaughlin improved from the first session to 11th for Volvo.

Meanwhile, it was another tough session for Erebus, with Davison again the best down in 21st – despite being just 0.759s off pole.

Qualifying for Race 13

Pos  Driver  Car  Time   Gap 
James Courtney Holden 1'07.1190  
Chaz Mostert Ford 1'07.1485 0.0295
Jamie Whincup Holden 1'07.1744 0.0554
Fabian Coulthard Holden 1'07.1750 0.0560
S.van Gisbergen Holden 1'07.2141 0.0951
M.Winterbottom Ford 1'07.2202 0.1012
Rick Kelly Nissan 1'07.2222 0.1032
James Moffat Nissan 1'07.2859 0.1669
Craig Lowndes Holden 1'07.3284 0.2094
10  Tim Slade Holden 1'07.3323 0.2133
11  Dale Wood Holden 1'07.3554 0.2364
12  David Reynolds Ford 1'07.3627 0.2437
13  Jason Bright Holden 1'07.4124 0.2934
14  Scott McLaughlin Volvo 1'07.4641 0.3451
15  Garth Tander Holden 1'07.4881 0.3691
16  Nick Percat Holden 1'07.4915 0.3725
17  A.Heimgartner Ford 1'07.5265 0.4075
18  Todd Kelly Nissan 1'07.5318 0.4128
19  Michael Caruso Nissan 1'07.6356 0.5166
20  Scott Pye Ford 1'07.6652 0.5462
21  Will Davison Mercedes 1'07.8027 0.6837
22  Tim Blanchard Holden 1'08.0375 0.9185
23  Ashley Walsh Mercedes 1'08.0695 0.9505
24  Lee Holdsworth Holden 1'08.4101 1.2911
25  David Wall

Volvo

1'08.6941 1.5751

Qualifying for Race 14

Pos
Driver  Car   Time   Gap
Rick Kelly Nissan 1'06.2920  
Fabian Coulthard Holden 1'06.3046 0.0126
Chaz Mostert Ford 1'06.4290 0.1370
S.van Gisbergen Holden 1'06.5028 0.2108
Craig Lowndes Holden 1'06.5562 0.2642
Michael Caruso Nissan 1'06.6160 0.3240
James Courtney Holden 1'06.6376 0.3456
Tim Slade Holden 1'06.6398 0.3478
Scott Pye Ford 1'06.6606 0.3686
10  M.Winterbottom Ford 1'06.6662 0.3742
11  Scott McLaughlin Volvo 1'06.6890 0.3970
12  James Moffat Nissan 1'06.7035 0.4115
13  David Reynolds Ford 1'06.7221 0.4301
14  Jason Bright Holden 1'06.7355 0.4435
15  Todd Kelly Nissan 1'06.7599 0.4679
16  A.Heimgartner Ford 1'06.7653 0.4733
17  Jamie Whincup Holden 1'06.7742 0.4822
18  Garth Tander Holden 1'06.7982 0.5062
19  Lee Holdsworth Holden 1'06.9515 0.6595
20  Nick Percat Holden 1'07.0503 0.7583
21  Will Davison Mercedes 1'07.0513 0.7593
22  Tim Blanchard Holden 1'07.3868 1.0948
23  David Wall Volvo 1'07.4151 1.1231
24  Dale Wood Holden 1'07.5723 1.2803
25  Ashley Walsh Mercedes 1'07.7643 1.4723
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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Darwin
Track Hidden Valley Raceway
Drivers James Courtney , Rick Kelly
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Holden Racing Team
Article type Qualifying report