Shell Helix Racing's Max Wilson posted the fourth quickest time during qualifying for round twelve of the 2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Pukekohe, but had to watch and wait as his rivals tried desperately to depose him.

After topping the times in the first half of the two-part session with a lightning quick 56.749secs lap, the Brazilian watched nervously as the upper 50 per cent of the field took to the track for part two.

Slipping back only three places by the end of qualifying, Wilson's time was good enough to secure him a place comfortably within the Top Ten Shootout for the second round running; the fourth consecutive shootout appearance for the Shell Helix Racing team. The revitalised Queensland-based team was the class of the Falcon field, fielding the fastest Ford around the 2.8km circuit.

"The car wasn't quite right in the first practice, and then we had a power steering failure in the second practice, so I only did about ten laps," Wilson reported, "I really didn't know what to expect during qualifying.

"I was pretty happy because I didn't get many laps in the second practice, so we didn't have the chance to change the car much. The car felt quite good in qualifying. I'm really pleased to be in the shootout again and I look forward to tomorrow."

On the pace early on, Wilson's team-mate, Steve Johnson, ran fifth quickest in the day's first practice session. However, he narrowly missed a spot in the top ten, qualifying twelfth fastest. Less than six-hundredths of a second stood between the #17 Falcon and the Top Ten Shootout.