Winton V8s: Slade storms to Saturday pole

Tim Slade took a second-career V8 Supercars pole position ahead of today’s opening race at Winton.

Winton V8s: Slade storms to Saturday pole
Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Rick Kelly, Nissan Motorsports
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

The Brad Jones Racing driver was third quickest after the first run during the 15-minute session, but found three tenths on his second run to nab pole position by just three hundredths.

It’s Slade second V8s pole position, his other coming at Sydney back in 2012.

“It’s been a long time between drinks, it’s been a bumpy road at the same time,” said Slade. “Massive thanks Brad and Kim [Jones] and all the boys and girls at BJR. They deserve this.”

Mark Winterbottom will start second after narrowly missing out on pole. He set his 1m10.097s on his first run, but failed to find any improvement on his second run.

“The second set [of tyres], I just didn’t get them to warm up the way I wanted,” he explained. “But front row, I’m rapt. We’ll race hard.”

Winterbottom’s team-mate Cam Waters was third fastest, having also not improved on his second run, while Scott McLaughlin found a tenth on his second run to jump from seventh to fourth at the flag.

Rick Kelly was the best of the Nissans in fifth, ahead of a foursome of Holdens including Lee Holdsworth, Will Davison, James Courtney, and Jamie Whincup.

Whincup’s P9 was, surprisingly, the best of the Triple Eight cars. Shane van Gisbergen was just 11th, and that was after improving on his second run, while Craig Lowndes was just 14th.

The Penske Fords struggled as well, going from second and third in FP3 to 15th (Fabian Coulthard) and 17th (Scott Pye) in qualifying.

LD Motorsport’s Nick Percat didn’t take part in the session, an engine problem that surfaced in practice leaving him stranded on the sidelines.

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