Whincup earns first 2016 pole

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/07/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Jamie Whincup has taken his first ARMOR ALL Pole Position of the season at the Castrol EDGE Townsville 400 and smashed the lap record.

It’s the first time the Red Bull #88 starts from first since last year’s finale at Sydney Olympic Park and comes at a circuit Whincup has proven to be dominant, with seven wins to his name.

The next drivers on the list, Mark Winterbottom and Garth Tander have three wins apiece.

Whincup’s 1min12.1443 lap was just 0.111sec under the existing record, which Winterbottom set back in 2012.

The Red Bull racer was pleased with the lap but knows just how challenging the 200km race ahead will be.

Whincup becomes the ninth different pole sitter in 14 races.

“It was a good lap,” Whincup said.

“It’s great to be starting in the right position but it’s going to be a long day.”

Whincup was fastest yesterday in practice, and in the 20-minute qualifying session topped teammate Shane van Gisbergen by 0.1799sec.

Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney earned his best starting position for the year and said it felt like a pole – he starts alongside Chaz Mostert.

Neither Mostert or van Gisbergen have won at the Townsville circuit.

Winterbottom was close behind in fifth, though other fan favourites Craig Lowndes and Scott McLaughlin were back in 11th and 18th respectively.

McLaughlin will gain a position as Nick Percat drops from 17th to 19th after being issued a penalty for blocking Aaren Russell on-track.

Click here for full results.

The 200km race kicks off at 4.10pm local time.

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