2013 V8 SUPERCARS BATHURST 1000
Jamie Whincup put his Red Bull Racing VF Commodore on pole after a classic Top Ten Shootout at Mount Panorama.
The Top Ten session ran without incident, but Holden's domination of the year's racing continued. The three Fords to challenge the lion would have been heartened by yesterday's announcement of Ford confirming its support for Ford Performance Racing in 2014.
Final practice for the Bathurst 1000 was an opportunity for those outside the top ten to hone their race setup and those within to fine tune their qualifying pace.
It also saw the miraculous return of both Chaz Mostert's and Dale Wood's number 17 DJR Falcon and the number 47 Erebus Mercedes of Thomson and Slade.
Both had been badly damaged in previous sessions but hit the track for the morning session. Erebus' Ross Stone said the overnight rebuild achieved was due to "youthful exuberance."
Erebus Team Manager David Stuart was full of praise for his team. "We just killed the word impossible," he said.
The Erebus car finished the session 23rd while the DJR number 17 finished in last.
The fifty minute session finished without any red flags, in contrast to the incident-packed sessions of Thursday and Friday.
David Reynolds and Dean Canto topped the session in their Bottle-O Falcon with a 2m08.6838, closely followed by the Whincup/Dumbrell Red Bull Commodore.
Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard found a lot of time that had gone missing on Friday, putting himself in third with co-driver Luke Youlden. Teammate Bright was back in 16th.
The Mercedes of Lee Holdsworth made it well into the top ten, finishing seventh, 0.7 seconds from Reynolds' time.
Caruso and Gaunt again flew the flag for Nissan in fourteenth.
TOP TEN SHOOTOUT
Scott McLaughlin went out first to set the benchmark, putting in a clean lap and a competitive time. The GRM driver was followed out by last year's front rower, David Reynolds, but was unable to beat McLaughlin's time.
Lowndes went fastest after following Will Davison out, pushing the Ford driver back after his lap was spoiled by a wild first sector.
Shane van Gisbergen took to the track fifth and in typical, spectacular fashion, promptly beat Lowndes' time by a massive 0.7 seconds, a lifetime in V8 Supercars.
Courtney's time was compromised by a drama at The Cutting, but he was P2 at the halfway mark, behind van Gisbergen's impressive time but ahead of Craig Lowndes.
Jason Bright's lap was made difficult by the sinking sun, but this didn't seem to trouble the veteran. Bright was faster than Courtney at the second timing marker and then crossed the line a fraction of a second faster than van Gisbergen's time.
Mark Winterbottom went out second last and was up on Bright's time in sector one. By sector two he had extended his margin to two tenths, which he held to the line. The lap was virtually perfect apart from a tiny moment on the way up the hill.
Jamie Whincup resumed his chase for this fiftieth V8 Supercar pole position and his first on The Mountain. He was up at sector one and two with a near perfect run through both sectors.
His final sector was epic, taking pole by three tenths of a second.