Whincup claims NZ pole
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Jamie Whincup has earned the day's first ARMOR ALL Pole Position at the ITM 500 Auckland by just 0.004 seconds over Ford's David Reynolds.
Qualifying is always closely-fought in New Zealand, but ultimately no one was able to top Whincup's early 1min03.3203 across the 10-minute session.
Whincup had a late off-track excursion in the session - as did Ash Walsh after a clash with Cameron Waters - but is back at the front for the first race.
DJR Team Penske's Scott Pye is thrilled to be on the second row in P3 with boss Roger Penske watching on - he lines up next to local Shane van Gisbergen for the day's first 60km race.
He had a big moment late in the session, but was thrilled to be up the front.
"Really lucky, I guess, how I went into the wall - it's broken the front bar, nothing major," he said.
"It's a good time to pull up on the front row... P3 is not too bad.
"Just going to go harder [for the next soft tyre session], the car's going to have more grip, more fun to drive."
Championship leader Mark Winterbottom was down in seventh, and said changes to the car meant losing some speed.
He starts one position behind Craig Lowndes.