James Courtney will start today’s season-ending 250-kilometre race from pole position.
The Holden Racing Team driver was just P6 in regular qualifying, but turned that into pole during the Top 10 Shootout.
Courtney was actually narrowly down on what was the benchmark time from David Reynolds in the first sector of his lap, but pulled out a monster third sector to bank a 1m28.066s, which at that point was the fastest time by more than three-tenths.
While Jamie Whincup, Scott McLaughlin, and Shane van Gisbergen all managed to be quicker than Courtney through the first and second sectors during their laps, none could quite nail the final part of the tricky circuit enough to knock the #22 from top spot.
“We’ve been pretty strong at street circuits all year,” said Courtney. “I love this place; I’m a western Sydney boy and I have good memories here. It’s awesome to finish the year with a pole.”
Van Gisbergen wound up second, just 0.018s behind Courtney, while Whincup will start third, right next to newly-crowned champion Mark Winterbottom.
Rick Kelly was fifth fastest ahead of David Reynolds and McLaughlin, who went from being just under a tenth up in Sector 2 to 0.478s behind at the line thanks to a brush with the wall.
“Unfortunately I stuffed up,” he said. “I clipped too much kerb on that last corner and it spat me into the wall.”
Tim Slade made up a couple of spots to qualify eighth after running first, with Michael Caruso and David Wall qualifying ninth and 10th respectively.