Stone Brothers Racing Sunday qualifying summary

Mark Winterbottom claimed pole position in his Milligan's Food Group Racing Falcon. Twenty-one-year-old Gold Coast driver Mark Winterbottom claimed pole position for his team Milligan's Food Group Racing in round one of the Konica V8 Supercar ...

Mark Winterbottom claimed pole position in his Milligan's Food Group Racing Falcon.

Twenty-one-year-old Gold Coast driver Mark Winterbottom claimed pole position for his team Milligan's Food Group Racing in round one of the Konica V8 Supercar Series at Wakefield Park near Goulburn this afternoon.

The feat was made all that more special as it was Winterbottom's V8 debut in the Milligan's Food Group Racing Ford Falcon AU.

Winterbottom took the Stone Brothers Racing-prepared Falcon around the 2.2km circuit in the day's fastest time of one minute 0.4708 seconds.

Winterbottom's campaign has been made possible with naming-rights support from Milligan's Food Group and major support from Bosch Spark Plugs and Caltex Havoline.

It was a great start to the 2003 V8 season for Ford as fellow Falcon AU driver Andrew Jones (Brad Jones Racing) claimed a front row position with the second fastest time of 1:00.5950.

Mark Porter (Hydralink Racing/IRC) was third in a Commodore in 1:00.7401 with last year's Wakefield Park victor Dale Brede (HRT Young Guns) rounding out the second row of the grid with a time of 1:00.7550.

But the day belonged to Winterbottom who showcased his immense potential with his debut pole position.

"The car felt really good and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be tough and I'm not going to make any predictions on how the team is going to go," said Winterbottom

"I'd like to thank the team and Marcos Ambrose for helping me with some of the driver issues I have had over the weekend."

Team Manager Ross Stone said the performance was earlier than he expected and expectations will be kept to a minimum.

"We thought that Mark hadn't done enough test miles to be in contention for a top grid position but he obviously had other ideas," said Stone.

"It's a two year program for Mark so tomorrow we have told him to keep things tidy and do the best he can with no pressure to perform."

Winterbottom is on a five-year contract with Stone Brothers Racing as part of its junior development program. He excelled last year claiming second place in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and being named Rookie of the Year.

Tomorrow will see three races -- one 20-minute race, one 20-minute race off a reverse grid, and one 35-minute race (based on points after races one and two). The race will be telecast on Network Ten at 4pm on March 16.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Andrew Jones , Brad Jones , Dale Brede , Mark Winterbottom , Mark Porter , Ross Stone
Teams Brad Jones Racing