Mark Winterbottom leads a Pepsi Max Ford front row at the non-points scoring V8 Supercars round in Albert Park after beating team mate Chaz Mostert in the dying seconds of qualifying.

Mostert had led almost the entirety of the 30-minute qualifying session but as the field regrouped for one final attack Winterbottom trumped his Prodrive team mate by the slender margin of two-hundredths of a second to grab the 'Blue Oval's' first pole-position since 2013.

David Reynolds, debuting The Bottle-O Falcon FG X at Melbourne, almost made it a Ford one-two-three but championship leader James Courtney spoiled the party to uphold the Holden honour in third position.

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Behind the Ford's, Triple Eight's newly signed 2016 driver Shane Van Gisbergen occupies the third row alongside the Volvo of Scott McLaughlin in sixth. The Tekno Autosports man was another to save his best run till last as he relegated his fellow Kiwi out of the top-five as the flag fell.

Freightliner Racing's Fabian Coulthard made it an all New Zealand five-six-seven while Tim Slade came home eighth in the Supercheap Holden Commodore.

Defending six-time champion Jamie Whincup salvaged P9 during his final qualifying effort despite spending most of the session languishing down in the bottom half of the timesheets. The Red Bull Commodore is joined on the fifth row by Nissan's Todd Kelly, who rounds off the top-ten runners in tenth.

Red Bull Racing Australia's Craig Lowndes once again struggled in qualifying trim in 13th while series legend Marcos Ambrose also failed to progress from a promising Clipsal 500 showing to qualify 20th.