Whincup on pole for Bathurst 1000
Photo Source: AAP
Some may say the omens aren't good for Jamie Whincup winning Sunday's Bathurst 1000 after claiming pole position at Mount Panorama.
However, few could argue Holden's Whincup is the man to beat for the Great Race after Saturday's top 10 shootout.
The four-time Bathurst winner showed his class to finish 0.06 of a second ahead of Volvo's Scott McLaughlin, with Ford's Chaz Mostert third.
But even six-time series champ Whincup has heard the rumours that pole position is a poisoned chalice on the mountain, with the last pole sitter to claim Bathurst honours being Holden's Garth Tander and Will Davison back in 2009.
The one before that was in 2003 by Holden's Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly.
Whincup himself couldn't do it the last time he finished qualifying on top in 2013.
"There's this myth going around that you don't want to be on pole, it's bad luck and you don't want to be there," said Whincup, who will partner co-driver Paul Dumbrell on Sunday.
"But we will try and turn the tide tomorrow.
"It's just nice to be starting on the front row."
Whincup has not won at Bathurst since 2012.
Coupled with the supposed omen of pole position, Whincup is also looking for a reversal of fortunes after his past two disastrous Bathurst campaigns.
Last year he sensationally ignored team orders to pit before passing a safety car, relegating him from second to the back of the field and finish 18th.
And in 2014 the Holden gun also defied a team directive and ran out of fuel on the 161st and final lap while leading.
But Whincup is now feeling lucky after somehow avoiding slamming into The Dipper wall in his scorching shootout lap to emerge as the man to beat.
He clocked two minutes, 05.426 seconds to pip McLaughlin in the last run of the shootout which decides the front of the grid.
McLaughlin - who will partner David Wall - was gutted to have been denied his first Bathurst pole.
"It is pole position at Bathurst - it means everything," he said.
"I gave it my all. One day it will happen."
Mostert may have not finished with top spot but he still felt like a winner.
He finally completed Bathurst qualifying for the first time in his fourth Great Race campaign after a string of disasters.
The worst happened last year when Mostert's Bathurst title defence was shattered - along with his leg - when he spectacularly crashed in qualifying, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
During the shootout, Mostert was cheered on by rabid Ford fans between The Dipper and Forrest's Elbow where he suffered last year's horror accident.
"It's special to have that great support from the fans in my comeback from last year," said Mostert, who will partner Steve Owen.
"Even the marshalls up there gave me the thumbs up during the warm-up.
"That's what makes this place so special."