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Whincup fastest at Bathurst V8s

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Jame Whincup qualified fastest.

Jame Whincup qualified fastest.

He's had a dominant start to the Bathurst 1000 weekend but V8 Supercars star Jamie Whincup is far from satisfied.

Whincup, the quickest driver on the Mount Panorama circuit in practice, qualified fastest for Saturday's top 10 shootout to complete a perfect start to the weekend.

The three-time Bathurst champion clocked a two minutes and 07.7145 seconds lap in Friday's 40-minute qualifying run, ensuring he'll head out last in the dash for pole position.

But Whincup knows his efforts will mean little if they're not backed up in Sunday's 1000km endurance classic.

''At the end of the day with the shootout still to come and a 161-lap race, it pretty much means nothing,'' Whincup told reporters. ''Someone's got to take the number one spot and here we are.''

Holden's New Zealand driver Fabian Coulthard (2:07.7931) qualified second-fastest for the shootout ahead of Ford's Mark Winterbottom.

Winterbottom, Whincup's closest championship rival, was in danger of missing out on the shootout but pulled out a last-gasp 2:07.9231 to secure his top 10 berth.

''The approach wasn't to leave it until right at the end but it ended up working out that way,'' he said. ''Happy with the race car but the one-lap flier just isn't really there at the moment.''

Coulthard, who famously crashed out at high speed in the opening lap of the 2010 race, was just relieved to have made a positive start to his weekend.

''This joint hasn't been that kind to me in the past but you've got to put that in the back of your mind and focus on the job at hand ... a thousand k's, it's a long way to go,'' the Lockwood Racing driver said.

Winterbottom's Ford teammate Will Davison qualified fourth fastest while race favourite Craig Lowndes will also feature in the shootout after posting the fifth-quickest time.

Defending champion Garth Tander managed to secure a shootout berth despite crashing his Commodore into a tyre bundle early in the session.

The Holden Racing Team pilot managed to return to the track and did enough to qualify eighth-fastest.

''To actually end up eighth and not too far off the leading time, I was pleasantly surprised to be honest,'' a relieved Tander said.

''We've obviously got a bit of work to do tonight to fix her up but we'll do some tuning in the practice tomorrow and see what happens in the shootout.''

The Bathurst 1000 continues on Saturday with a final practice session in the morning before the top 10 shootout for pole position begins at 4.30pm with a thunderstorm forecast in the afternoon.

AAP

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