Craig Lowndes has reset yesterday’s lap record at Hidden Valley with an impressive 1min06.0259 lap in qualifying this morning.
But his time does not lock in ARMOR ALL Pole Position with a top 10 shootout to come – expect the #888 to come out last for the one-lap dash.
The top 19 cars were within 0.5sec.
After being spun early in yesterday’s race at the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown, Lowndes believes he has a better car for today’s 200km.
“The guys did a fantastic job overnight to transform the car– we had a good car, but not a fast car,” Lowndes said.
“The car was good yesterday, I can’t complain, but we needed a bit of speed and I think we’ve found it.”
The Nissans look strong again today, with Rick Kelly second by 0.11sec, yesterday’s winner Michael Caruso fifth and Todd Kelly 10th to tackle the shootout.
The other two Triple Eight cars also make it through with Shane van Gisbergen seventh and Whincup ninth. Van Gisbergen had an awkward moment with Fabian Coulthard, looking as if he blocked the DJR Team Penske car on a fast lap, but Coulthard wasn’t too bothered post-session.
“No problems with Shane … sometimes he plays games and that’s how he is,” he said.
“No hard feelings that’s how he is … we had our own problems,” Coulthard added. He starts 16th.
The ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout kicks off at 10.45am local time in reverse order – Todd Kelly, Whincup, Mark Winterbottom, van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin, Caruso, Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert, Rick Kelly and Lowndes will tackle the track for one lap.