Jason Richards provided Team BOC and himself with a first pole position in the top ten shootout at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway, ahead of the SkyCity Challenge.

The Albury-based outlet was rewarded for years of toil, and on and off success, with the payday of their lives, and it was not lost in the team garage afterwards, especially as Richards had said that he felt that he had 'lost his mojo' recently.

"It's amazing," the 33-year old admitted, "I'd gone missing in a few race meetings, so it's great to be back. I love this place. It's good for Brad Jones Racing and Team BOC who have been battling for a number of years.

"It was awesome to finally get my first pole position after being within a thousandth of a second before. It's a great feeling, especially after we had struggled in qualifying at previous rounds. It shows the strength of the team and proves we can run with the leaders."

While it was a day to remember for Richards, it was a forgettable start for Stone Brothers Racing pair Shane van Gisbergen and Alex Davison after such a great practice on Friday. van Gisbergen had been second in practice, with Davison eighth, but, less than 24 hours later, they were 23rd and 30th with various mechanical problems.

Ford Performance Racing's Steven Richards was another surprise with a lowly 22nd place in qualifying in the event he won a year ago, having not made the second leg of qualifying.

Some of the big guns also struggled in qualifying. Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall couldn't find a run late in the second session and finished twelfth, James Courtney was slightly off the pace in 13th in the Jim Beam car, with Wilson Security Racing's Fabian Coulthard 14th and Courtney's team-mate Steve Johnson 15th.

That allowed the likes of Todd Kelly and Cameron McConville to join other, more regular, names in the top ten shoot-out, with Richards - running last after topping qualifying - claiming that famous pole. Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes were next up, with Kelly completing the top five.