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Vodafone pair on pole at PI.

Defending champions Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have grabbed pole position for the L&H 500 after two qualifying races at Phillip Island.

Lowndes was eleventh with a pit stop in the first super-sprint race, allowing Whincup to skip clear to win the second 14-lap race.

It put them on pole for tomorrow's 500km endure, edging out the HSV Dealer team of Rick Kelly and Paul Radisich with Stone Brothers Racing Ford pair of James Courtney and David Besnard third.

“It's nice to be on pole for the first time this year,” Lowndes said. “No-one knew a lot about the strategy with the sprint races. But the team effort has been fantastic and now we can re-focus for tomorrow.”

While the cream to the top in today's super-sprints, it was the performances of part-timers Besnard and Radisich that sealed the deal.

Radisich, who basically finished his fulltime career following his spectacular crash at Bathurst in 2006, produced a strong performance in the second race to place 17th with the pit stop while Kelly won the opener impressively.

Besnard, like Radisich, has not raced competitively in the class since Bathurst last year. He raced through the field from 18th on the grid to finish 13th with the pit stop and give Courtney the straight run for third in the second super-sprint.

“It's definitely a hard job jumping out of nothing into something but it was great,” Radisich said. “Rick did a great job and I just did my part to do a good smooth race and not have any offs. All the cars in front of me didn't have to stop but it was just a matter of getting as high up as possible.

“It was quite satisfying personally to get down in the 33s during qualifying today.”

Some of the pre-race favourites will need to work their way through from the middle of the pack if they are to get a share of the spoils in tomorrow's 500km enduro.



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Aust
Jamie Whincup (Aust) #1 Team Vodafone 888 Commodore

V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
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V8 Supercars Australia
Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
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V8 Supercars Australia
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Aust
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Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
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Eastern Creek, Sydney
New South Wales
Aust
Craig Lowndes (Aust) #888 Team Vodafone 888 Commodore

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Event 9 Sydney Motorsport Park 360, Races 18 & 19
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Aust

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