Fabian Coulthard and Jamie Whincup have secured pole positions in the opening two races of the Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas.
With less than 60 seconds left of the first session, the top spot changed four times, but it was Coulthard who lit up the timing sectors in his final run to take the top spot with a new track record of 1:32.5934.
Whincup will line up alongside Coulthard on the front row after coming out on top over team-mate Craig Lowndes, the Red Bull Racing Australia trading fastest laps before Coulthard’s flyer.
It was a bitter sweet session though for the Brad Jones Racing team. Coulthard’s stablemate Wilson Security Racing’s David Wall completed the second row, recording his V8 Supercars career best starting position, while Team BOC’s Jason Bright could only manage 21st.
Will Davison, Jonathon Webb, Mark Winterbottom, Garth Tander and Shane van Gisbergen and Rick Kelly completed the top 10. Kelly’s tenth spot gives the Nissan Altima its first top ten start.
In the second of the two back-to-back qualifying sessions, Whincup’s lap time of 1:32.0311 put him a full second clear of the field with eight minutes remaining to go. The new track record was enough to keep him at the top of the timesheets, although team-mate Lowndes came close in the closing stages, just 0.26s back.
Coulthard took third with 30 seconds remaining, having been 25th moments earlier.
Shane van Gisbergen, Jonathon Webb rounded out the top five, while Rick Kelly bettered his previous qualifying best position to take sixth. Will Davison, Alexandre Prémat, Scott McLaughlin and James Moffat completed the top 10, giving Nissan Motorsport its most successful Qualifying session to date.
Mechanical issues kept Tim Slade from running in the second session, topping off a difficult day for the Erebus Motorsport V8 team.
The opening two Texas races, Race 13 and 14 of the V8 Supercars Championship take place later today, with a further two races on Sunday.