Frosty v Lowndes
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
The top championship contenders will start side by side on the front row for this afternoon's 200km race at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint.
Points leader Mark Winterbottom earned ARMOR ALL Pole Position with his 1min30.6764 lap - but Craig Lowndes was just 0.209 seconds behind.
The fight into turn one will be crucial, with both drivers looking for the jump and a clean run this afternoon.
The points gap from Winterbottom to Lowndes is 209 points.
"It's awesome, we were looking for car speed, we found it - but they said Lowndes my championship rival is off two, so again we'll go and fight," Winterbottom said.
"The best grand I've ever won I think!" he said when presented the ARMOR ALL cheque for what is his second pole position this season.
While Winterbottom said he was "copping a lot of crap" as he battles for his maiden V8 Supercars Championship, Lowndes acknowledged that the pressure was on everyone with the drivers and teams titles on the line.
"The pressure is now on everyone to perform not only in race trim but in qualifying," he said.
"We saw yesterday, even in the Sprint format, it's difficult to pass around here on these hard tyres. We've now got to try and get a ripper start down into turn one.
"We made adjustments overnight and the car was better ... Shippy [engineer Grant McPherson] asked if three's two tenths in the car or me, I think it's both!"
On the second row, it's Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin, yesterday's pole sitters.
Three Nissans cracked the 10, with Michael Caruso sixth, Rick Kelly alongside and Todd Kelly tenth.
After yesterday's clash, David Reynolds and Shane van Gisbergen aren't separated by much - starting eighth and ninth for the race.
The 200km race kicks off at 2.10pm ADST and will play a huge part in determining the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.